No Guinness for vegans this St. Patrick's Day
The Irish brewer's longtime use of fish bladders to clarify its stout leaves a segment of drinkers out of the party.
The swim bladders from fish, which is why vegans and vegetarians probably shouldn't be among those knocking back one of the more than 3 million pints that Guinness parent Diageo (DEO) estimates Americans will consume during the holiday. It's an unpleasant surprise for The Huffington Post and beer lovers who try to avoid brews made with animal products like gelatin, but it's been a part of Guinness' brewing process since the 1800s.
The swim bladders -- commonly known as isinglass -- help a fish swim and remain buoyant in water, but they also help brewers clear floaters and other particles out of their beer. The isinglass is quickly removed by brewers once it's done its job, but its use and the off chance that trace amounts of it can end up in beer make Guinness off limits for vegans and vegetarians.
While isinglass doesn't appear on Guinness' list of ingredients -- it's more of a filter than a component -- Guinness hasn't exactly been shy about discussing its use when asked. The company told vegan booze site Barnivore flat out in 2011 that a different Guinness product, Guinness Black Lager, "is not suitable for vegans." In another email to the site in 2012, it explained that isinglass is still part of the filtering process -- known as fining in brewing circles -- and that it has struggled to find "any alternative that is as effective or environmentally friendly as isinglass."
The problem is that many of the products used for this purpose are similarly animal-based. The gelatin used by other beer and wine producers in their fining process is also an animal byproduct often derived from bones. Oyster stouts, meanwhile, both clarify the beer by filtering it through oysters at the bottom of the conditioning tank and sweeten it by using the oysters themselves as ingredients.
There are chemical alternatives, but brewers are somewhat hesitant to use them because they're just a bit detrimental to the environment once they've been removed. When they're not filtered out properly, however, they're extremely risky for humans.
That said, both Barnivore and PETA list a whole lot of brewers that use non-animal alternatives or more time-consuming filtering processes to make vegetarian- and vegan-friendly beers. Guinness, it turns out, has had far worse animal accusations thrown its way.
A common urban legend about Guinness claims that, sometime in the early 20th century before Diageo bought the Dublin-based brewer, brewmasters had drained the tanks for cleaning and found the bones of dead rats at the bottom. Putting aside the fact that beer tanks of that size are usually steel behemoths sealed tighter than the Federal Reserve, the story alleged that it was the rats that gave Guinness its distinct flavor.
Boston Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys did little to dispel that myth when it teamed with Shane MacGowan, lead singer of The Pogues, in 2001 for an ode to the storied brewhouse vermin called "Good Rats."
While Guinness has never addressed the tale directly, a brewer's toughest job is to keep its process as free of contaminants as possible. Rats don't help in that regard, but fish bladders do -- even if they filter out a portion on the beer-buying base as a result.
Self righteous or maybe just a pain in the azz....
Funny, they had to change their names, for recognition...?
And maybe so they could "cheat" a little ?....Lmao..
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
Tired of constantly dying batteries, she came up with a device that could revolutionize energy storage -- and won $50,000 from Intel.
- Detroit in hot water over proposal to sell art
- Sears spirals toward oblivion
- Why aren't heads rolling at the IRS?
- Do we pay attention to roads and bridges now?
- Yahoo may be going after Hulu
- Apple's first computer could fetch $450,000
- AT&T adds sneaky fee onto its wireless bills
- Soaring ER use adds more pain to health costs
- Netflix gets 'Arrested Development' stars cheap
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks entered the weekend on a mixed note as the S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Dow ended with a gain of 0.1%.
The major averages began the day on a lower note as nine of ten sectors saw losses of more than 0.5%.
The consumer staples sector was the lone exception as the group spent the entire day in positive territory thanks to the relative strength of Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.89, +3.19). The second-largest staple stock advanced ... More
More Market News
Try as the bears might, they couldn't break U.S. stocks. But investors still face frothy prices and considerable headwinds.