Why The Most Famous Irish Pub Goes Vegan By The End Of 2016

Being a vegan in Ireland is still very tough. Living in a country where animal products such as butter, cream, lamb and pork are part of the daily diet regime gives vegan a hard starting position. In Ireland, vegans are often harshly criticized and insulted in a way that it’s unbearable sometimes. However, this is probably about to change since Guiness, the most popular Irish pub, has announced to go vegan by the end of 2016. In order to make this happen the company needed to invest into an entire new filtration system. Definitely, this is a crucial step towards going vegan ever since Arthur Guiness started his business in 1759. Probably, many people have no idea what makes this outstanding beer up to now non-vegan. Read on to learn more what makes this beer non-vegan friendly and how this is about to change by the end of 2016.

“Guinness, the Irish stout that once famously advertised itself under the slogan “Guinness is good for you,” took a step this week to inject 21stcentury food culture into its 256-year-old product. Guinness is going vegan.

The company announced on Monday that starting at the end of 2016, its beer will no longer contain trace amounts of fish bladder, an integral part of its filtration process.

Few customers — except perhaps vegans and vegetarians who enjoy a pint — were probably even aware that the famous inky-black drink contained any fish parts at all. But it is actually quite common for cask beers to be filtered using isinglass, a gelatinlike substance derived from the dried swim bladders of fish that is used to separate out unwanted solids like yeast particles from a brew, the company said.

“Isinglass has been used widely within the brewing industry as a means of filtration for decades,” the company said in a statement on Monday after a report in The Times of London. “However, because of its use we could not label Guinness as suitable for vegetarians and have been looking for an alternative solution for some time.”

The substance is removed from the beer after it has fulfilled its filtration role. Zsoka McDonald, a spokeswoman for the company, said that only “trace amounts” ever make it into the final product. That has been enough, however, to keep most vegan drinkers away.

Ms. McDonald said the company has used isinglass since at least the 19thcentury, “but it is likely it was used prior to that as well.” She said its products would be fish-bladder free when the new system is implemented by the end of 2016, but declined to describe how its new vegan-friendly process would work.

Guinness said that it had arrived at a solution to its vegan problem through “investment in a state-of-the-art filtration system” at its St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin, where its beverages have been brewed since the company’s founder, Arthur Guinness, signed a 9,000-year lease on the site in 1759.

Edmund Long, the spokesman for Vegan Ireland, an advocacy group, said that vegans there had been complaining to the company, writing letters and signing petitions for as long as he could remember, and they were delighted by the decision.

“We are always happy to see another product become suitable for vegans, especially because this one is very iconic here in Ireland,” he said. “It’s one of the products you associate with Ireland; Guinness is usually up there.”

Ireland can be a tough place for a vegan. While fresh produce is a cornerstone of its traditional cuisine, so are animal products like butter, cream, lamb and pork. In recent months, an online feud between Irish vegans and one Dublin cafe lead to street protests after it banned vegans from entering and threatened them if they did.”

Read the full article at The New York Times.

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