July 18, 2022

What Is Isinglass And Why Is It In My Non-Alcoholic Drink?

vegan-friendly alcohol drink

Even though there’s no list of ingredients on the side of your glass, if you go into a bar and order a drink you’d be pretty sure you’d know what you're getting right? 

If it’s a beer - there’s probably yeast, malt, hops and water in it. A glass of wine and you know there’s got to be grapes in there somewhere? Even for most cocktails, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting? 

So what about fish guts, animal bones, or egg whites? How many of you would expect to find those in your drink? 

Is alcohol vegan? 

Plant-based diets may have started out on the fringes, but these days veganism has well and truly entered the mainstream. 

In the US alone there are now more than 9.7 million vegans. That’s a 3000% increase since 2004, and the trend shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. But while plant-based alternatives and labeling have become a common sight in supermarkets and restaurants, the alcohol industry still lags behind.

That leads many people to the same thing: is alcohol vegan? 

It’s a simple enough question, but the answer is more complex than you may have thought. You see, while many products are actually vegan, far from all of the drinks you may enjoy are actually free of animal products.

And even if your favourite drink doesn’t include an animal-derived ingredients like honey or cream - that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s vegan. That’s because the manufacturer of your favourite tipple might be using filters made out of animal products like gelatine, crab shells and even fish bladders to filter out impurities from your drink before it enters the glass, can or bottle. 

Yes you read that right…fish bladders. 

What is isinglass? 

Isinglass is a type of fining, or a group of substances that are used by drinks manufacturers to filter their products to make them clearer. 

Though drinks have been consumed for thousands of years, finings only started to gain popularity in the 19th Century when transparent glasses became the vessel of choice for drinkers. People didn’t like to look into their glass and see a cloudy, chalky product - who would? - so manufacturers had to filter their products using fining agents to capture and remove these impurities. 

Alongside things like gelatine - which is made using animal skin and bones, one of the most commonly used filtration products is called isinglass. What is isinglass you say? Well, to put it simply, isinglass is made using dried fish bladders - typically from species like sturgeon and cod. 

These fish bladders are removed, dried and then formed into odourless mesh-like shapes that are then used to filter things like wine, beer and even their alcohol-free alternatives. 

Yummy right? 

How can I tell if my favourite drinks are vegan? 

Of course, if you’re a vegan, then drinking something that’s been passed through fish bladders is going to be a big no-no. But even if you’re not vegan, the idea of drinking something that’s been subjected to that kind of process might not be all that appetizing.

So how can you tell if what you’re drinking is vegan or not? 

Websites like www.barnivore.com are a great resource where vegans from around the world come together to share information on what ingredients might be in your favourite drink, other than alcohol. 

Thankfully more and more producers are also replacing isinglass with vegan alternatives made from things like moss and seaweed. They’re also proudly displaying their vegan or vegetarian status on their cans and bottles to help inform the growing number of plant-based drinkers

Ingredients you can actually pronounce

aēlo mission is to create a safe and sustainable environment for both alcohol drinkers and non drinkers to be able to have the exact same premium cocktails experience and was created with a passion for creativity and obsession for the perfect cocktail experience... with none of the prep work. 

Our quality, hand-crafted recipes are carefully made to the highest possible standards. And we only ever use vegan-friendly ingredients that you can actually pronounce. That means no egg white, no gelatine and definitely no fish guts. 

So when you choose to enjoy our non-alcoholic products, vegans can rest safe in the knowledge that we’ve got you covered, no matter what the occasion. Shop our vegan drinks now!

Keep reading:

Millennials and Gen Z Leading the Zero-Proof Revolution

Read Article

Sipping Sustainability

Read Article

A Trend on the Rise

Read Article

Embracing the Sober Revolution!

Read Article

Sip, Celebrate, and Stay Merry!

Read Article

A Healthier You

Read Article

Refreshed Boozeless Beverage Ranges

Read Article

View on the VIBE

Read Article

See you @ Planted Toronto

Read Article

See you at CHFA Vancouver

Read Article

aēlo is officially in 1,000 stores!

Read Article

#WorldWomensDay Our commitment to inclusion

Read Article

Find aēlo @ IGA

Read Article

Find aēlo @ Choices Markets

Read Article

Find aēlo @ Fresh St. Market

Read Article

We planted over 42,000 trees

Read Article

aēlo Holiday Wellness Market @ The Juice Truck on Main

Read Article

aēlo X Uno Gelato.

Read Article

aēlo is the alcohol free sponsor of The Cup

Read Article

We’re kicking off aēlo’s summer of sustainability

Read Article

aēlo @ Khatsahlano Street Festival

Read Article

aēlo X Anchor Eatery

Read Article

Happy #WorldGinDay

Read Article

aēlo is a Silver Sponsor of Planted Expo

Read Article

Core and Cocktails @ Barre3 Toronto.

Read Article

Zero Car X aēlo

Read Article

aēlo @ Sip and Savour Whole Foods Event

Read Article

See you @ CHFA West

Read Article

aēlo is an in-kind sponsor for TED talks

Read Article

Core & Cocktails @ Evolution Studios

Read Article

aēlo @ Whole Foods Market

Read Article

aēlo Peach Bellini is here!

Read Article

aēlo is a Launch Pad Finalist

Read Article

aēlo @ The Wellness Show

Read Article

aēlo @ Spud

Read Article

aēlo @ Urban Fare

Read Article

A Cocktail That Plants Trees

Read Article

aēlo is Going Dry in February

Read Article

aēlo Wins Silver In San Diego

Read Article

aēlo Alcohol-free Now Available Coast to Coast

Read Article

aēlo @ Planted Expo 2021

Read Article

Coming Soon

We're currently securing all of our stockists. Don't want to miss anything? Sign up below and we will alert you once we're ready.

Thank you for your interest, we will keep you up to date with anything important.
Oh no! Something went wrong while submitting the form, try again.

Keep reading, there's more to see.

see all news

We're here to answer your questions

We're an open book when it comes to our products. Check out our FAQs for questions regarding our ingredients, why we use them and what's next for aēlo.

faqs

Find aelo near you

Find aelo