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Green’s has had an incredible 12 months; we’ve launched new beers into the UK, won a number of awards for our Ancient Grains range and now our beers are accredited as being Vegan friendly, thanks to the Vegetarian Society!
You may be wondering why beer wouldn’t be suitable for vegans – isn’t beer just water, grains, hops and yeast? In terms of ingredients, yes it is, but lots of breweries use isinglass in the processing of the drink. You can read more about it here, but in short isinglass is a kind of fish gelatin that makes beer appear clearer and brighter.
We have been asked in the past what made us take the decision to avoid using animal products in the beers, but if we’re totally honest, it wasn’t a decision as such. We don’t use isinglass as we just don’t think it’s necessary; beer is a literally a living, breathing drink and the yeast that causes that slight haze is a part of that drink. It will eventually settle to the bottom of the container – even in cask ales – and therefore no longer be a problem. While using isinglass speeds up this process, that’s a consideration about time, not about beer quality.
The main overriding reason that we don’t use isinglass, however, is because of the taste in the glass. Any time you add another product into a brew, it will naturally affect the flavour and this is one of the reasons we don’t want to put extra products into the mix during the beer-making process. If you also think of isinglass as big trawler net sweeping its way through the beer and settling on the bottom, you can see how it may not just be taking yeast particles out of the beer, but also a lot of other compounds that give your pint a richer, deeper and more refreshing taste and aroma. Adding things into the mix may change the taste in ways you may not want, but when those additives are also designed to remove elements from your glass, you could be in for double trouble!
We’re very excited to have been awarded Vegan status by the Vegetarian Society and what makes it even more pleasing is that it fits in perfectly with our aim of making the best beers that we possibly can. We may not have set out to brew Vegan beers, but by following our principle aim to get the most out of every single ingredient, not compromising on flavour and following a proper and full brewing process, we’ve been able to make sure that our beers are not only suitable for people with different diet requirements – but also extremely enjoyable!