Guinness on draught goes vegan

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Vegan-friendly beer: Guinness stops the use of isinglass
Vegan-friendly beer: Guinness stops the use of isinglass

Related tags Brewing Isinglass Beer

Guinness has announced it will finally go vegan by abolishing the use of fish-derived isinglass from its production process, after revealing plans to do so two years ago.

St James’s Gate Brewery, the Diageo-owned Dublin-based facility that brews Guinness along with beers such as Dublin Porter and Hop House 13, has removed the fish-based fining agent isinglass from its beer making process.

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An alternative process has been developed to clarify draught keg Guinness without the use of animal bi-products, a system that could be used in other beers produced at the brewery in the future.

It has been made clear the recipe and the taste of Guinness has not been changed.

Diageo said: “Isinglass has been used widely within the brewing industry, purely as a means of filtration."

‘Use of isinglass’

The parent company continued: “Through advances in brewing technology, we have identified an alternative process through investment in a new, state-of-the-art filtration system at St James’s Gate, which removes the need for the use of isinglass finings in the production of Guinness.”

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This means all pints of Guinness served on draught in pubs, bars and restaurants globally will be vegan-friendly.

Diageo added: “Production and distribution has also commenced on the bottle and can formats of Guinness draught.
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“It will take some time to reach the full-scale distribution of these formats, but this is expected by the end of 2017.”

A second phase of the project will focus on other Guinness stout variants and is under way, the alcohol giant added.

Guinness vegan-friendly

Beer writer Roger Protz broke the news that Guinness would make its brews vegan-friendly​ in a column for The Morning Advertiser ​in 2015.

He said: “Removing isinglass from Guinness is welcome news for many.”

Many brewers in the past have said isinglass will only be banned in beer if consumers pressure them to eliminate isinglass from their products.

However, a complete ban would have to be pushed​ by the Food Standards Agency, said St Peter’s Brewery chief executive Steve Magnall.

He added: “There would have to be a reason for doing it so I think it is more likely that consumer demand saying ‘we want this’ will drive things better than a blanket ban would.”

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