By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Did you know that many breweries use fish bladder as a filter to help the yeast settle faster? Guinness has announced this week that it is doing away with the process in an effort to attract more vegans and vegetarians.

Guinness plans to have a new vegan-friendly filtration plant in place sometime next year. Until then, they’ll stick with isinglass — a gelatinous by-product of fish bladder it’s used for more than 200 years.

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“When they were transporting beer and everything else in the holds of ships, the crew would put all sorts of liquids into the swim bladder of fish for storage,” explains Tom Kehoe — founder of Yards Brewery. “They noticed that when they took beer out of there the beer was incredibly clear and see-through.”

 

 

The latest announcement has created quite a buzz amongst loyal customers:

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“Oh that’s a bummer. It’s supposed to actually be kind of good for you. It’s supposed to be what makes Guinness slightly healthier. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to up my fish oil somewhere else.”

“I mean, it’s organic. It’s a fish, right? So I’d actually prefer them doing that than something artificial.”

“I eat some pretty crazy things anyway –you can’t taste it so it doesn’t bother me at all.”

“It’s no different than having the fish eggs in your sushi.”

Guinness hasn’t yet said what it will use to replace fish bladder. Kehoe believes the issue may be a bit overblown:

“It really doesn’t end up in the final product, although it’s used in making it and I think that’s the issue.”

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Vegan activists have been pressuring Guinness and other breweries for years to at least state the use of fish bladder on their bottles and cans.