We are very proud to announce that the majority of beer brewed from June onwards has been vegan (*see exclusions at bottom)
Firstly, for those of you wondering "what do you mean beer isn't vegan??!" (you can skip this paragraph if you do know), fining agents are used in the fermentation / maturation stages of the brewing process. Basically fining agents are added to the tank, and these have a positive charge that attracts the negatively charged yeast particles. These forms clump, and gravity drops them out to the bottom of the tank. Essentially fining agents clear the beer. And these fining agents contain traces of fish guts. If you are now left wondering how people discovered fish guts cleared beer - I think it's because way back when people used to use fish bladders as a beer carrier! Like a medieval flagon
We have swapped out using finings in our brewing process for rough filtration. The filtration on most of the beers is nominal (which basically means very loose). This means we can catch the big lumpy yeast particles, but still let through the smaller hoppy compounds that give of wonderful fruity flavours. Essentially filtration is a modern method of achieving the same goal of finings.
We made this change as we want our beer to be accessible to as many people as possible and the vegan movement is gaining serious momentum. Whilst neither me and Paul are vegan ourselves, we have big respect for their views and share similar ideals in our love of nature. If we can avoid hurting other forms of conscious life where possible, we will seek to do it.
Also we might all be vegan soon - check this article on Wired in July
*With the exception of West Coast kegs - we brew these at a different brewery where unfortunately due to the equipment finings are currently compulsory. We are working on changing this and once achieved we will seek full vegan accreditation.