Is Guinness vegan? Yes, Guinness has been officially vegan-friendly since 2018. Guinness does not contain any animal products in its recipe with its main ingredients being water, barley, yeast, and hops which are all vegan. This was not always the case as not too many years ago their filtration process used a combination of the clarifying agent Isinglass (from fish bladder) and Irish Moss (a type of seaweed). Irish moss is vegan but clearly, isinglass is not. Guinness also does not use any animal products in its packaging or labeling either.
So whether you’re a devout vegan or just looking for an animal-friendly pint of beer, feel free to be able to grab yourself a Guinness and enjoy it.
Guinness Beer is a dry Irish stout that was first brewed in 1759 at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. It is a dark brown colored beer with a hint of ruby, it has a creamy tan head and an unmistakably full-bodied flavor. Its taste is that of roasted malt, caramelized sugar, and hints of coffee or chocolate. Guinness is typically served in a pint glass and is known for its thick creamy head. Having an ABV of 4.2% it is also rich in antioxidants and iron, due to the roasted malts used in production. Guinness has become a global beer enjoyed by many, from Guinness Draught to Guinness Extra Stout and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout all of which are vegan.
When Was Guinness Made Vegan?
Guinness made the decision to become vegan back in 2015, however it was not until 2018 that all of their beers were officially vegan. Although they were not the first brewery to transition to being fully vegan friendly as many smaller craft breweries had already done so, they were the first large-scale brewer to do so.
The main ingredients that went into making Guinness were always vegan and they have not changed their recipe at all. What they changed was removing isinglass (a fish-derived ingredient) from its filtration process and replacing it with a vegan-friendly alternative.
Guinness Filtration Process
It was reported that Guinness wished to become fully vegan-friendly much earlier on, however, the technology to be able to clear their beer and provide it with the ruby hue that it was known for did not exist until recently and the only way they could previously achieve the desired level of clarity was by using Isinglass. The filtration process they first started implementing in 2015 is a new and innovative way to filter beer. It uses a special filter media, which removes the particles and clears the beer while not negatively affecting its flavor and color.
If you have concerns that the new filtration process has changed the taste of Guinness, you can rest assured that the recipe, taste, and appearance are exactly as it always has been, the only difference is that it is now 100% vegan friendly.
P.S. If you want to make your vegan-friendly beer it is as simple as sticking using the 4 main ingredients in beer and not using any animal products to clarify it. To get started, be sure to pick up your gift of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub, details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your phone. Cheers