Well times they are a-changin’.
According to The Independent, the brewery that manufactures Guinness, the St James’s Gate in Ireland, is ditching the 256-year-old tradition of using isinglass in its filter system.
Isinglass is a gelatin obtained from fish swim bladders, that has been used since the 19th century to help yeast settle faster, and clarify beer. “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,” a spokesman for Guinness said.
Without the use of isinglass, the beer will officially become vegan. Apparently, there’s been a long-standing petition (over two years), urging the beer to become vegan. It has over 1,700 signatures. “Because I want to drink Guinness without feeling guilty!” wrote one vegan.
While we’re neither here nor there about the veganism of our beers, we are wondering if this new filtration will cause the stout to taste different. Will it still have that full-bodied, toffee/coffee taste? Will it still be smoky and bitter and remind American youths of their time abroad? The answer is probably yes.
For the most part, the isinglass is removed from the product before it gets distributed, but because Guinness can’t be 100% sure that all of it is removed, it’s playing it safe.
You can expect the change to occur in 2016, so we suggest you drink up now, just in case.
Are you worried about Guinness going vegan?