Beyond vegan food, the pub also has to hunt down vegan beers which are less common than you may think.
Most pubs are decidedly un-vegan. Beyond the fact that things like Sunday roasts and fish and chips are common pub grub – and even pubs that don’t really serve food will offer up the occasional pork pie or sausage roll – plenty of beers aren’t vegan either. One common ingredient is isinglass, which is made from fish bladders, and used to help clarify beer. (In 2015, Guinness made a big deal about finding other ways to fine its signature stout to make the brew vegan.) The moral: Opening a vegan bar isn’t as easy as it seems, but that hasn’t stopped The Spread Eagle from opening as what’s being billed as London’s first 100-percent vegan pub.
“Being a vegan is not just about food,” Meriel Armitage, who opened the pub with co-owner Luke McLaughlin, told the Evening Standard. “It’s what you’re drinking, what you’re sitting on, what you’re wearing.”
Along those lines, The Spread Eagle will serve food from Armitage’s already popular vegan Mexican street food brand Club Mexicana, but will also only serve beers that don’t use ingredients like egg whites, gelatin or isinglass. To help broaden that range, the owners say they are even working with popular local breweries like the highly-regarded brand Beavertown to craft special vegan beers for them to serve.
Needless to say, that veganism extends to the rest of the drinks menu as well. “We also serve hand selected small batch wines that you would rarely find on a regular pub menu,” The Spread Eagle’s website states, “as well as a carefully curated cocktail list with innovative vegan twists on the much loved classics.”
But though The Spread Eagle takes its love of animals very seriously, the owners also want people to know that the joint isn’t uptight. “We’re not a gastropub,” Armitage told the Standard. “We’ll have DJs, art club, quiz nights, and parties until late on Friday and Saturday.” Just don’t expect any pin the tail on the donkey.