Yes, who would have thought… And the reason for that is a gelatin like substance called isinglass - which basically is fish gut. It is used mainly for the clarification or fining of beer and wine as well as making jelly and glue. But what is isinglass exactly and how can we be without it? Unfortunately, isinglass is a cheaper way to make the beer less hazy. According to the experts: “The finings flocculate the live yeast in the beer into a jelly-like mass, which settles to the bottom of the cask. Left undisturbed, beer will clear naturally; the use of isinglass finings accelerates the process.” It should be noted that beer doesn’t need to be clear. It is OK for it to be hazy and unrefined beer tastes amazing. But for years, breweries used fish bladder in the production because most consumers were conditioned to prefer clear beer. There are now many animal-free alternatives to this process and many breweries have already made the move away from using isinglass. Consumer demand has been a big push behind this but also the craft beer movement, which has long preferred animal-free beer. Hazy, juicy, hop-packed beers rely on exactly the oils and yeasts that isinglass removes. Today, we see even more beers for vegans and non-vegans who don’t fancy fish gut in their beer. Just to make life a bit easier for you on your next pub night, we made a list of vegan-friendly beers we love. Cheers!
A craft beer from South London. Evin O'Riordan started Kernel back in 2009 after a trip to NY and has been carefully crafting a mix of American-inspired and Old World recipessince then. The Kernal has been vegan-friendly from the get-go.
This mega Irish name plate made the decision to abandon the use of isinglass in the production of its keg beer in 2015. All the Guinness available on draft in pubs up and down the UK is vegan-friendly.
Created from a mere desire to have good quality local beer, all Camden Town Brewery beers are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
A British brewery based in London with artful branding. All of their core brews such as Gamma Ray are vegan but some specials are not. Their website has all the information you need if you are not sure. From merch to their own tap room and collab events, Beavertown is the hoppest beer on the street.
Hackney’s very own The Five Points Brewing Company champions flavour, consistency and quality, and their range of award-winning beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised for a better flavour and aroma. Currently all their beers except for XPA and Pale, in cask format only, are completely vegan friendly. We hope their entire range becomes vegan friendly in the very near future.