The Tramline Liquor Co – knowledge on vego booze

Subsequent to the previously published article on the animal derived pitfalls of booze for vegans and other vegetarians (click highlighted text to open link); we became engaged in an interesting dialogue with Adam Brough. Adam is employed professionally in the alcoholic beverage industry. Adam works at The Tramline Liquor Co. They are knowledgeable on which of their products are suitable for veg*ans. If they are unsure of the veg*an suitability of a particular product they are happy to chase down more info. Adam says:-

Tramline shop sign cropped

“First the good news, all alcohol is vegan friendly.   Second the bad news; its not that simple.  At it’s core alcohol is fermented using no animal products nor by-products.  However some recipes use animal products to redefine, thicken or re-filter the drink.”
“Guinness for example, as of mid 2016, uses trace amounts of isinglass, an agent containing fish by-product to filter the beer. Isinglass was formerly used in the brewing process of a lot of mass produced beers.  However in more recent times, other products have provided alternatives to animal derived processing agents – something Guinness hope to achieve by the end of 2016.  The flavour should remain as in this example isinglass is not considered an ingredient, more of a tool.”

Black Kite beers

(Black Kite Brewery currently state their beers are all vegan including the one named Oh Bacon. Pic sourced from Black Kite Brewery facebook)

“The usage of sugars in some products is a shady area that can be hard to clarify. Honey based sugars are not considered vegan friendly, yet it is not required for this to be defined on the label.  Honey can be used in gluten-free beers to create a viscosity that is not easily achieved otherwise. Many beers are vegan friendly (many are not). Bottled craft beers for the most part are a relatively safe bet when looking for vegan friendly options.  Hong Kong beers:-

  • Black Kite – vegan at time of writing
  • Moonzen – vegan at time of writing [2017 update, their Kitchen God Honey Porter beer contains honey as the name suggests]
  • Kowloon Bay’s brews are currently vegan all except their gluten free beer contains honey [update 2017, their gluten free beer has reverted to a honey free recipe and is also all vegan]

Non Hong Kong breweries such as Eight Degrees, Feral and Yeastie Boys, are currently all considered vegan.  Going forward I expect more breweries to find vegan solutions too.”

Kowloon Bay

 (Kowloon Bay as of March 2017 purport to be all vegan. The people at Young Master Ales claimed to be all vegan in 2016. Yardley Brothers on Lamma Island purport to be vegan except for their Wanchai Ale since it contains fish extract. Hong Kong Beer co in contrast have no vegan beers from using fish extract and honey)

“Unsweetened spirits are a relatively safe bet, unfortunately like the rest of alcoholic drink world, this is only a rule of thumb.  Some vodkas such as Black Cow are made using fermented cows milk.   Most whiskeys and gins are vegan friendly. Exceptions to watch out for include J&B Rare scotch and Jim Beam Red Stag. As an example of sweetened spirits, Drambuie is sweetened with honey.”
“Wine is perhaps the hardest area to define.  Throughout history winemakers have been searching for shortcuts from the traditional methods to colour, clarify and remove yeast from their product.  Fortunately those that take a bit more time to make good plonk can be found using carbon, limestone, plant casein and other vegan friendly solutions to ensure a better product.  Look out for organic wine as these are generally more likely to be vegan friendly.”

“There are some good apps and resources out there to guide you when selecting a cold one. has a good list of brands that are officially vegan friendly and the app Vegaholic has a growing range of drinks that are rated red, yellow and green depending on the contact each drink has with animal products.”

Thank you Adam.



One thought on “The Tramline Liquor Co – knowledge on vego booze

  1. Pingback: Vegan and non-vegan wine |

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