Kopparberg is a Swedish brewery that has been making cider since 1882 in Kopparberb, a small town in central Sweden with just 4,000 people. They’re the largest cider brewery company in Sweden.
Kopparberg started by launching apple and pear ciders, but they now have a whole array of cider flavors, including strawberry, mixed fruit, strawberry & lime, blueberry & lime, elderflower & lime, rhubarb, raspberry, cherry, passionfruit, and more.
Is Kopparberg Vegan?
Kopparberg has always used plant-based ingredients to make their ciders, however, their filtration process has always included animal ingredients such as gelatin, isinglass, crab shells, and collagen.
To adapt to the changing times, the brewery has announced that it wanted to make its products accessible to as many people as possible by making them vegan-friendly. This means that they have stopped including animal ingredients in their filtration process.
In other words, Kopparberg is now 100% vegan-friendly, which is wonderful news!
Why Do Breweries Use Fining Agents In Their Filtration Process?
Fining agents improve the filterability of beer, alcohol, and ciders by binding to haze-causing particles like yeast, thus creating larger particles that are easier to remove.
In other words, it’s simply a means of removing unwanted materials from alcoholic beverages while they’re still in the cellar, reducing their bitterness and haziness.
The use of animal ingredients arises from tradition, not necessarily because it’s better than vegan-friendly ingredients. It’s just that breweries have been using it for centuries.
Also, nowadays, the reason breweries have adopted an animal-free approach to fining is not that they’re vegan-friendly, it’s simply that it’s more cost-effective and reliable. Processing liquid through a centrifuge or plate filter, or using one of the various animal-free finings now available leads to more consistent results than animal-derived finings.
In fact, using animal byproducts is not taught in wine school any longer, so new winemakers don’t even know about it and thus avoid it.
With that being said, it’s still advised that you check with each brand whether they use animal ingredients in their filtering process, as many breweries are old-school.
What Are The Alternatives?
Alternatives to ingredients such as isinglass, gelatin, and albumin include things such as carbon, silicic acid, bentonite clay, limestone, and plant casein, just to name a few.
And while you have breweries that start using or have been using these ingredients for while— they don’t advertise that because they’re not actively thinking about the consumer that purchases based on their values.
They merely think about producing something that leads to a better-tasting product, which, nowadays, often happens without the use of cruel fining agents.
However, because breweries and wineries are not intentionally pursuing vegan practices, they’re also not advertising to the large crowd of vegan or ingredient-savvy consumers.
Kopparberg has always had a vegan-friendly formulation. The problem was with how they filtered their cider, which typically involved the use of animal-based fining agents.
Fortunately, that has changed, and now Kopparberg uses vegan-friendly fining agents to make their cider, which means that they’re 100% vegan-friendly.
Therefore, if you’re vegan and want to have a go at one of their ciders, you’re completely free to do so!