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Beer

Guinness changes recipe to go vegan

guinness_beer_stout.jpg

Guinness stout will no longer contain isinglass --a fish byproduct --starting in 2016. (Reuters)

Guinness is going vegan.

Starting in 2016, the Irish beer will be fully vegan friendly for the first time since they started brewing beer 256 years ago, reports The Independent.

Guinness, like many other brewers, use isinglass, a by-product of the fishing industry that's used to clarify the beer and make yeast settle faster. While most of the agent is filtered out during the brewing process, there are still traces of fish bladders in the finished product.  Vegan customers have long been petitioning the brand to discontinue its use of isinglass.

One was on change.org, filed by Tom Jones from Manchester who collected 1,715 signatures asking the brand to make the beer vegan-friendly.

“There are many alternatives to isinglass which do not contain any animal products and are comparably effective. Switching would allow the world's billion-plus vegetarians to enjoy one of the most delicious alcoholic drinks there is -- and it wouldn't even affect the taste,” wrote  Jones.

The brewer’s use of fish bladders may seem gross, but it’s not at all uncommon: According to Stephen Beaumont, author of The Beer & Food Companion, "Isinglass has been used to clarify beer and wine for decades and perhaps centuries, but its use has declined precipitously in recent years with the advent of new filtration and centrifugal techniques."

The company did not give details about how it will replace isinglass. In previous statements, Guinness has said it was searching for a method that is "as effective or as environmentally friendly...whilst maintaining the quality of the liquid."