Prepare to be grossed out, folks, because we’ve stumbled upon a rather unsavory ingredient lurking in one of our favourite tipples – beer. Brace yourselves, beer enthusiasts, because this might just ruin your pint!
Beer, that beloved staple of the global alcoholic scene and a cornerstone of British culture, has a not-so-delightful secret. You see, besides the four main ingredients – grains, hops, yeast, and water – there’s a sneaky hidden ingredient that might make you cringe. And guess what? It comes from a fish!
Yes, you heard that right – beer isn’t always vegetarian-friendly. Some beers actually use a fish-derived product called isinglass, sourced from fish swim bladders. Gross, right? It’s used in the beer-making process to clarify the liquid, and you might find it in certain wines as well. Back in the day, isinglass was made from sturgeon, but later on, methods using cod and hake came into play. Nowadays, British breweries opt for materials from tropical fish.
Why is it used, you ask? Well, yeast can make beer all cloudy and sedimented, and that’s where isinglass comes to the rescue. When added to the brew, isinglass particles and yeast particles buddy up, sink to the bottom, and get filtered out, leaving us with a less cloudy beer. Phew!
But fear not, dear beer lovers! Not all beers use isinglass, so there’s still plenty for you to enjoy. Guinness, for instance, ditched the fishy stuff in 2018, making it suitable for vegetarians and anyone else grossed out by fishy ingredients.
Let’s dive into the list of some popular beers that do contain isinglass, though. Carling, Coors Light, Foster’s, and Kronenbourg are on the off-limits list. But hey, we’ve got good news! Many beers, like Birra Moretti, Camden Hells, Estrella Damm, Heineken, Grolsch, and Peroni, are vegan and vegetarian-friendly as they steer clear of isinglass in their brewing process.
So, folks, while there’s still plenty of beer to quench our thirst, let’s raise a glass to Guinness for sparing us the fishy business. And to those who are now grossed out by this little secret, don’t worry – there are loads of isinglass-free drinks out there. Cheers to that!