The vast majority of beer and wines aren't vegetarian. I believe it is fish bladders that are used to make the drink clearer. What is the vegetarian alternative to this and why isn't it more widely used? Is the veggie option inferior in some way?

  • I can't find source but it really does not look like it is the vast majority that is not vegetarian.
    – ymoreau
    Aug 3, 2018 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


From the searchable "is your booze vegan" directory Barnivore website:

It might seem weird at first, but your favourite drink might have more than just alcohol in it.

Brewmasters, winemakers, and distillers may include animal ingredients in their products directly, or they might use them in the processing and filtration.

When making the product, dairy, honey, and other things are ingredients in the final recipe.

When filtering the drinks prior to bottling, companies can use things like isinglass (from fish bladder,) gelatin, egg whites, and sea shells, among other things. These products grab onto the impurities and make it easier to catch them in the filters, though there are many animal-free alternatives in use.

  • 1
    Some argue that these aren't actually 'ingredients' and as you say, grab impurities and are not part of the wine.
    – Steve
    Jan 31, 2017 at 20:15
  • It is common to be opposed to all uses of animal products and not just their consumption making the mention of these non-ingredients relevant.
    – nloewen
    Feb 22, 2017 at 15:01
  • @nloewen The definition of veganism by the vegan society is "Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose." So for many people yes, this is relevant. But there are also lots people who are vegetarian/vegan purely for health reasons who probably don't care about these.
    – LennonR
    Feb 22, 2017 at 16:11

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