There’s a lot of brands mislabelling broth as bone broth. This article will explain if Bone Brewhouse bone broth is really bone broth and if you should add it to your routine.
This begs the question: what qualifies as a real bone broth? How much protein must a broth have to be considered a bone broth?
I’ll address all of those questions in this article, you can also read my primer on broth vs. bone broth here.
As a disclaimer, I make my own Organic Bone Broth in Canada. But to remain as objective as possible, I will focus this comparison on objective measures like: 3rd party reviews, nutrition facts and ingredients.
This gives you an honest snapshot about any bone broth.
What is Bone Brewhouse Bone Broth?
There is not a ton of information about the founders of Bone Brewhouse on their website. I had to do a bit of digging to find out that Bone Brewhouse is owned and marketed by Equilibrium Foods, a holding company that owns food brands in Canada.
In addition to bone broth, this holding company’s brand also sell: soups, veggie burgers, chicken burgers and more.
In Canada, you can find Bone Brewhouse Bone Broth in many grocery stores including Metro, WalMart, Whole Foods, Safeway and more.
Is Bone Brewhouse real bone broth? Or is it mislabelled? Read on to find out.
Bone Brewhouse Bone Broth Ingredient Analysis
Bone Brewhouse makes a line of frozen bone broth and a line of bone broth powder. Let’s start with the made in Canada frozen bone broth.
Bone Brewhouse Chicken Bone Broth Ingredients
Chicken Stock (water, chicken, cider vinegar), carrots, celery, onion, sea salt, black pepper, bay leaves, thyme, turmeric
Bone Brewhouse Lemon Ginger Bone Broth Ingredients
Chicken Stock (water, chicken, cider vinegar), ginger root, lemon juice concentrate, sea salt, turmeric
Bone Brewhouse Pho Bone Broth Ingredients
Chicken Stock (water, chicken, cider vinegar), onion, ginger root, fish sauce (anchovies, water, salt, sugar), coriander, cinnamon, star anise, cloves
Bone Brewhouse Beef Bone Broth Ingredients
Beef Stock (water, beef, cider vinegar), onion, salt, black pepper, bay leaves
Bone Brewhouse also has a line of Bone Broth Powder.
Bone Brewhouse Lemon Ginger Bone Broth Powder
Chicken bone broth, Modified coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides [MCT]), Chicory root, Lemon juice powder, Sea salt, Ginger, Turmeric
Bone Brewhouse Beet Bone Broth Powder
Chicken bone broth, beet root powder, Chicory root, Modified coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides [MCT]), sea salt, ginger
Bone Brewhouse Naked Bone Broth Powder
Chicken Bone Broth
Bone Brewhouse Thai Coconut Bone Broth Powder
Chicken bone broth, Coconut milk powder, Chicory root, Modified coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides [MCT]), Spices, Sea salt, Ginger, Makrut lime, Onion powder, Garlic powder, Lemongrass
Bone Brewhouse Wild Mushroom Bone Broth Powder
Chicken bone broth, Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) powder (Modified coconut oil, Acacia fibre), Chicory root, Wild mushroom powder, Sea salt, Onion powder, Garlic powder
Red Flag Ingredients
According to their website, Bone Brewhouse bone broth is “Simmered up to 24 hours in small batch kettles using sustainable sourced bones and immediately frozen to lock in the goodness, we make it easy to enjoy home-made, gel-rich broths anytime.”
This is tricky to reconcile given that the first ingredient is chicken stock. Let’s get into it.
The first ingredient being chicken stock suggests that Bone Brewhouse makes their frozen bone broth from concentrate. Let me explain why.
In 99% of bone broth ingredient lists, you see chicken bones as the second ingredient (after water)
On the Bone Brewhouse ingredient list you see no chicken bones, just chicken stock.
Many brands use chicken broth or chicken stock because it is cheap to buy and cuts their manufacturing costs since they do not have to make their bone broth themselves.
It is difficult to say for certain this is what is going on with Bone Brewhouse, but it is a red flag.
Why not just label it as water and chicken bones?
Similar to the above. This should read: chicken bones. Chicken is a loose term that could be a variety of things or parts of the chicken.
I will say this could be simply semantics. So I won’t judge too much about labelling it as chicken vs. chicken bones.
Lemon Juice Concentrate
Lemon juice concentrate is a form of lemon juice that has been pasteurised. It is used as a natural preservative to increase shelf life of food products (1). I suspect Bone Brewhouse is using it mostly for flavour in this bone broth.
Chicory root is a plant-based fibre made from inulin. Chicory is a binder that helps mix ingredients together. It also allows food brands to add fibre to processed foods.
It’s hard to understand why you would add chicory root to bone broth. Are they looking to add fibre to the product? Why?
Lemon Juice Powder
Lemon juice powder is similar to lemon juice concentrate, but in powdered form. Bone Brewhouse likely uses it as a flavour additive.
Acacia fibre is a common ingredient in MCT oil and many other plant based oils and milks.
It is used as an emulsifier, texturiser, stabiliser in processed foods. Acacia gum can also be used to extend a product's shelf life and improve mouthfeel.
Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term use of high doses of acacia fibre (2).
What’s Missing From The Ingredients?
There are no bones listed anywhere on the ingredient lists for Bone Brewhouse frozen bone broth. This usually tells you that the bone broth is made from concentrate (or chicken stock).
When this is the case, the brand typically buys a pre-made chicken stock from a supplier instead of making it themselves.
They will add this chicken stock to their kettles, along with the rest of their ingredients for 1-3 hours. This greatly gets their cook time down.
I’m not sure this is the case with Bone Brewhouse, but my spidey sense is tingling.
Bone Brewhouse does not use any organic ingredients nor is there frozen bone broth certified organic.
Organic is the best 3rd party validation we have in Canada to ensure bone broth is top quality.
Moreover, organic ensures that the animals with which the broth is made were raised in a low stress environment with access to pasture, grass and plenty of space.
Without some sort of 3rd party certification, it is difficult to trust the sourcing of ingredients on any product -- but especially meat products in Canada.
For more info on this, read the ultimate checklist to buying bone broth in Canada.
Bone Brewhouse Nutrition Facts
Frozen Chicken Bone Broth Nutrition
Frozen Pho Bone Broth Nutrition
Frozen Lemon Ginger Bone Broth Nutrition
Frozen Beef Bone Broth Nutrition
Where’s the Protein?
As you can see, there is a lack of protein in all four of Bone Brewhouse frozen bone broth flavours.
They all have 5 g of protein per 250 ml serving. For comparison, this is less than half of the 11 g protein per serving in Bluebird Provisions Organic Chicken Bone Broth.
5 g of protein does not constitute a traditional bone broth. For a product to be a real bone broth, it must have at least 7 g protein 250 ml serving.
For this reason, it is safe to say that Bone Brewhouse is mislabelled as bone broth. It should be labelled and marketed as broth.
Unfortunately, bone broth is a new category and there are no enforceable guidelines in place yet by the Canada Food Inspection Agency.
Each of Bone Brewhouse Bone Broth flavours contains between 290-350 mg (12-15% RDI) of sodium per serving. This is on the high end for bone broth but not alarmingly high.
It is something to keep in mind if you are watching your sodium intake.
There are 3-4 g of fat in Bone Brewhouse Bone Broth flavours. This adds calories to each cup of bone broth.
The one exception is the beef bone broth which is fat free.
There are no hydrating electrolytes found in any of Bone Brewhouse Bone Broth flavours. The beef bone broth has 75 mg of potassium.
However, the chicken bone broth flavours (pho, lemon ginger and traditional) have no potassium listed.
This is strange given that most classically made chicken bone broth has at least 250-400 mg of potassium per 250ml serving.
Unfortunately you will not be getting electrolytes from this bone broth.
Bone Brewhouse Instant Bone Broth Facts
Fat: 1 g
Carbs: 4 g
Protein: 10 g
Sodium: 250 mg
Potassium: 75 mg
Bone Brewhouse Instant Bone Broth Powder Analysis
There are 3-4 g of carbs per 16 g pouch / serving in all but one of Bone Brewhouse Instant Bone Broth Powder flavours.
This could be an issue if you are keto or following a low carb lifestyle.
Moreover, there are usually no carbs in bone broth. In this case, most of the carbs come from chicory root and the vegetable powders to flavour the bone broth.
You’ll find 10 g protein in most of the Instant Bone Broth flavours (except naked has 15). This is on the low end compared to other bone broth powders.
There is 1-2 g of fat per serving. Not a huge deal but worth mentioning if you’re low fat.
Sodium is on the high end of normal range at 230-290 mg per serving in most flavours. Something to watch if you are low sodium.
Again, there is a lack of hydration in most of these bone broth powders (except naked). Potassium ranged from 10-75 mg per serving.
Most chicken bone broth powders have 300 + mg per serving. The low potassium is due to the ingredients they add to dilute the bone broth powder.
3rd Party Reviews
3rd party reviews are hard to come by for Bone Brewhouse because they mainly sell in grocery stores.
That being said, here are 2 reviews I found from well.ca customers. Well.ca is a reputable online retailer in Canada for health food and groceries.
Good for broth use in recipes but not for drinking as a broth
I was hoping to drink this bone broth like a hot cup of tea whenever I was in the mood, but unfortunately the flavour feels a bit off and I did not enjoy it straight up mixed with water.
I have, however, found that it is a good substitute for whenever a recipe calls for broth. I just mix with a cup of hot water and throw it in whatever I am cooking.
I will use up the rest of the packets like this but probably will not reorder and will look for an alternative broth.
I would literally never buy this product again. It was so awful smelling and tasting, I’ve never tried a worse product. Save your $!
Bone Brewhouse Packaging
Bone Brewhouse uses a single use plastic tub with a cardboard label wrapped around it. This combination is not all that environmentally friendly.
Instant Bone Broth Powder
Bone Brewhouse uses single serve sachets with 5 sachets per box. This is a lot of unnecessary packaging just to get bone broth powder.
Bone Brewhouse vs. Bluebird Provisions
Bluebird Provisions is a certified organic bone broth that ships across Canada and the USA.
Bluebird Provisions has more than double the protein per serving compared to Bone Brewhouse.
Bluebird Provisions has almost 1.5 times less sodium and superior hydration in the form of 400 mg potassium per serving. Bone Brewhouse has no potassium listed on their frozen chicken bone broth label.
Instant Bone Broth Powder Comparison
They also have a powder chicken bone broth.
As you can see from the image, there are quite a few differences between these bone broth powders as well.
Of note is the differences in fat, potassium, ingredient lists, sodium and packaging.
The unique thing about Bluebird Provisions is that they are the only bone broth using 100% recyclable packaging.
This way you can enjoy your bone broth with a clean conscience knowing that you are not harming the environment.
There are many different bone broth options in Canada. It behoves you to do your research to ensure the bone broth you choose is actually real bone broth.
While Bone Brewhouse is widely distributed in grocery stores across Canada, their frozen bone broth lacks the protein you find in all other bone broths.
Bone Brewhouse Instant Bone Broth has filler ingredients that take away from the bone broth protein.
Lastly, Bone Brewhouse uses unnecessarily wasteful packaging that is not sustainable.
Stick with a traditionally made, high protein bone broth you can trust like Bluebird Provisions.