It’s easy enough to choose to eat plant-based foods, but what about the other thing vital for life, BOOZE? Not all beers (and wines, and spirits) are created equal, and some may contain animal products where you’re not expecting them…
Many brewers use “finings” to clarify their beer before it’s bottled – this can include plants like Irish moss, or animal-derived substances (isinglass, derived from fish, or gelatin). However, there is a fantastic online resource that allows you to look up most beers, ciders or wines and see if they are vegetarian or vegan-friendly: Barnivore. They also have a handy iPhone app called VeggieBeers, that uses the Barnivore information to allow you to check, on the go, whether your preferred pint is ok or not.
I started using this app last summer, during the annual regatta at The Rising Sun in Pensford – my old local (lucky me!). They had a good selection of beers and ciders as usual (as well as a gin bar), but the one that caught my eye and kept me hooked was Stan’s Big Apple.
Thatchers is a great all-round cider manufacturer, based here in Somerset. I usually avoid their Gold, as it’s a bit too fizzy for me, but their Traditional is guaranteed to catch you unawares after a few pints!
Stan’s seems to be an attempt to sidestep their “big cider manufacturer” image, especially as it’s possible to buy small 330ml cans of it in supermarkets now. The bar had a couple of boxes of it available this weekend, and I couldn’t get enough of it! It’s clear, a rosy amber colour, with a really clean taste. Still, with a sweet taste and a fragrant nose. It’s definitely a session cider, if you can drink sweet all day – and I did!