Vegan beer lovers, rejoice! Irish creamy dry stout maker Guinness announced that it will no longer use fish bladders in their brewing process to cater to vegans.
In 2016, the company will fully go vegan for the first time since it started the brewing business in 1759.
Just like any other beer-making firms, Guinness uses isinglass to speed up yeast settlement. Isinglass comes from air-bladders of freshwater fish and is typically used to make gelatin and other desserts. Although it sounds quite distasteful, incorporating isinglass in the process of making beers or wines is common.
Among the listed components of the beer are water, hops, barley and yeast. Although the list may appear vegan or herbivorous, traces of fish bladder substances may still end up in the final product.
"Whilst isinglass is a very effective means of clarification, and has been used for many years, we expect to stop using it as the new filtration asset is introduced," said a spokesperson from Guinness.
The company is aware that the inclusion of such ingredient may hinder some people from consuming their products. As part of its continuous efforts to improve the manner with which they make their products, the company is now looking for substitutes for isinglass.
An online petition requesting Guinness to exclude isinglass in its process has been put up by a vegan advocate. As of this writing, the petition has already garnered 1,716 supporters.
Guinness said that the new filtration technique will only take place in its flagship brewery in Ireland. The company has other brewery locations spread across 49 different countries.
Coming up with a vegan product could help subject the sales of Guinness to a new market as competition from craft beer makers has made the industry tighter. Diageo (DEO), Guinness' parent company, said that microbreweries may have caused the sales of of Guinness to plummet in 2015.
Photo: Yumi Kimura | Flickr