Friday, March 5, 2010

Irish Alcohol for St. Patty's Day

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. For many people, this means a trip to the local Irish pub. Personally, I LOVE Irish pubs. I think they have way more personality than most bars. I could be biased, being of Irish descent and all.

Ok, so the point of this post is to list a few vegan-friendly Irish alcoholic drinks** that you can find when you are at the local pub for St. Patty's day. Forget the green beer. That's just cheap non-Irish beer with green food coloring. Go for something more traditional and authentic.

O'haras Celtic Stout
Curim Gold Celtic Wheat Beer
Molings Traditional Red Ale
Bulmers Pear Cider
Magners Pear Cider

Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Connemara Whiskey

Boru Vodka

George Killian's Irish Red
Samuel Adams Irish Red
Coast DIS Dry Irish Stout
Michelob Irish Red

[Found at most Arizona Irish Pubs]
Strongbow Cider (Original & Super only) (British)
Four Peaks Kilt Lifter Scottish-style Ale (Arizona)

Unfortunately, some of the imports can't be found at the local pubs and require a trip to the more specialized liquor stores. The best stores for harder to find alcohols are:
Tops Liquors [Tempe]
BevMo [Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Glendale, Phoenix, Goodyear, Peoria]
AJ's Fine Foods [Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Tucson]

You might even try:
LeeLee Oriental Supermarket [Chandler, Peoria] is great at helping vegans navigate the most common alcoholic beverages. So if you have any other alkie bevs you are wondering about, check them out.**

And just so you know, these typical Irish alcohols are NOT vegan-friendly.

Guinness ak "Guinney" (Isinglass)
Murphy's Irish Stout (Isinglass)
Smithwick's (Isinglass)
Beamish (Isinglass)
Bailey's Irish Cream (Dairy)
O'Mara's Irish Country Cream (Dairy)
Wexford Irish Cream Ale (Dairy)

**At this point you might be wondering why beer, cider, wine, etc. might not be vegan friendly. The answer comes down to two points: first, many alcohols actually contain animal ingredients (honey, albumin [egg whites], casein [dairy], colorings [from insects], isinglass [swim bladders from fish], gelatin, etc); second, many alcohols are clarified/filtered/processed with isinglass, gelatin, egg whites, sea shells, etc. It's just another example of how pervasive animal ingredients are in foods that actually seem vegetarian. And honestly, most of us don't even realize what is in our food or how it is made. I definitely see this changing, for non-vegans as well as vegans. However you decide to eat, knowledge is power.


Ok, so go forth and enjoy your St. Pat's!


Duke said...

I'm ignorant about this stuff. What makes booze not vegan friendly?

Kenike said...

That is an excellent question, that I should have addressed in the post. Especially since I was pretty sure someone was going to ask it. So, I added the reasoning directly to the post for future readers.

But it basically comes down to this: some alcohols actually contain animal ingredients (honey, egg whites, dairy, insect colorings, isinglass fish bladders, gelatin, etc), and second, many alcohols are clarified/filtered/processed with animal products (animal proteins, fish bladders, gelatin, egg whites, sea shells, etc.).

Duke said...

Interesting, thanks for the explanation. I understand now.

Kenike said...

It's crazy, though, huh!