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Fishy business: Good Beer Guide reports moves to axe isinglass

 

Press Release
Issue Date:

Embargoed: 15th September

 

 

 

Fishy business: Good Beer Guide reports moves to axe isinglass

 

A growing number of brewers are looking at alternatives to isinglass as a clearing or "fining" agent in their beers, the 2017 Good Beer Guide (GBG), published by the Campaign for Real Ale, CAMRA, reports. Isinglass is made from the swim bladders of fish – and as more and more drinkers today are vegetarians and vegans, brewers are looking at alternative ways to serve crystal clear pints.

 

Isinglass is added to casks of beer before they leave the brewery. A natural chemical reaction attracts yeast and protein and drags them to the bottom of the cask, leaving clear beer above.

 

Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz says: "Drinkers shouldn't be alarmed – there's no fish in their beer! Isinglass is odourless and tasteless and doesn't impact on the pint in your glass. But as it's derived from fish, many drinkers are unhappy with its use in the brewing process."

 

As a result, a number of brewers are either producing unfined beer that is slightly cloudy or are using alternative clearing agents. The Marble Brewery in Manchester uses silica and Irish Moss as clearing agents: Irish Moss is also known as carrageen and is a type of seaweed. It is widely used by brewers to clarify beer after hops have been boiled with malt and brewers are investigating whether it is suitable as a fining agent in casks of finished beer.

 

Experts at the Centre for Bio-energy and Brewing Science at the University of Nottingham are analysing a new role for the hop plant as a clearing agent. The department is chaired by Katherine Smart, who has been seconded from international brewer SABMiller, with MSc courses run by Professor David Quain and Dr David Cook. There is a fully operational micro brewery where students and young brewers can make beer and the course scientists are looking at using a blend of "spent" or used hops and fresh hops to attract yeast in cask and enable beer to "drop bright".

 

Roger Protz says: "The easiest solution is not to use any clearing agents. I have seen at first-hand how brewer Justin Hawke produces his ales at Moor Beer in Bristol. Justin is an American from California who fell in love with cloudy wheat beers in Germany when he was stationed there doing military service.

 

"He moved to Britain and bought Moor Beer where he doesn't use isinglass as he believes it strips some of the flavour from beer. As a result, his IPAs and other beers are served naturally cloudy in pubs and he says there has been no consumer resistance.

"Not only are drinkers happy – but so are fish!"

 

 

Pub fans can now enjoy the Good Beer Guide on the go, with the launch of a new Good Beer Guide App which is available for Iphone: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/camra/id1085081835?mt=8

 

COPY ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

Beer quality assessor Cask Marque has sponsored the 2017 Good Beer Guide. The 44th edition of the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide will be published in September and will list the best 4,500 pubs in the country chosen by its 180,000-plus membership.

 

Justin Hawke, Moor Brewing: 0117 941 4460

 

Contact:

 

CAMRA Press Office

press@camra.org.uk

01727 337 8863

 


A breakdown of Regional Stats in the 2017 Guide.

Central Southern        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Berkshire 53 17 14 2
Buckinghamshire 54 20 14 5
Oxfordshire 69 18 26 4
  176 55 54 11
 
East Anglia        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Bedfordshire 49 9 8 1
Cambridgeshire 70 15 21 1
Essex 110 30 30 3
Hertfordshire 64 17 34 7
Norfolk 105 37 40 5
Suffolk 72 15 25 1
Total: 470 123 158 18
 
East Midlands        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Derbyshire 95 23 65 13
Leicestershire 68 16 21 4
Lincolnshire 113 20 28 0
Northamptonshire 49 12 42 6
Nottinghamshire 74 17 23 0
Total: 399 88 179 23
 
Greater London        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Greater London 292 60 72 7
Total: 292 60 72 7
 
Greater Manchester        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Greater Manchester 158 29 70 10
Total: 158 29 70 10
 
Kent        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Kent 145 38 37 4
Total: 145 38 37 4
 
Merseyside & Cheshire        
Region 2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Cheshire 70 15 33 5
Merseyside 70 20 17 5
Total: 140 35 50 10
 
North East        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Durham 85 14 18 2
Northumberland 39 11 11 2
Tyne and Wear 59 9 27 4
Total: 183 34 56 8
 
South West        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Cornwall 62 10 33 5
Devon 125 35 50 7
Gloucestershire 103 27 41 7
Somerset 102 19 28 4
Wiltshire 62 16 23 1
Total: 454 107 175 24
 
Scotland & Northern Ireland        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Aberdeen & Grampian 41 8 11 1
Argyll & The Isles 14 2 7 1
Ayrshire & Arran 21 4 2 0
Borders 18 7 7 1
Dumfries & Galloway 20 3 5 0
Edinburgh & The Lothians 45 15 18 1
Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley 46 9 10 2
Highlands & The Western Isles 35 3 14 1
Kingdom of Fife 21 3 6 1
Loch Lomond, Stirling & The Trossachs 21 5 12 0
Northern Ireland 20 3 19 11
Northern Isles 8   4 0
Tayside 30 8 5 0
  340 70 120 19
 
Surrey and Sussex        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Surrey 70 14 18 6
East Sussex 64 14 30 3
West Sussex 62 15 26 2
Total: 196 43 74 11
 
Wales        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Glamorgan 93 18 25 2
Gwent 39 10 8 1
Mid Wales 35 10 8 1
NE Wales 42 8 16 0
NW Wales 46 14 15 2
West Wales 70 17 16 3
Total: 325 77 88 9
 
Wessex and CI        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Channel Isles 22 3 4 0
Dorset 66 20 18 2
Hants 119 33 32 5
Isle of Wight 22 8 3 0
Total: 229 64 57 7
 
West Midlands        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Herefordshire 26 8 12 2
Shropshire 58 11 25 4
Staffs 88 26 31 3
Warwickshire 48 9 17 0
West Mids 118 29 30 1
Worcestershire 56 16 19 3
Total: 394 99 134 13
 
West Pennines        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Cumbria 88 5 42 5
Lancashire 121 33 33 5
Isle of Man 28 4 4 0
Total: 237 42 79 10
 
Yorkshire        
  2016 Pubs New Pub Entries 2016 Breweries New Breweries
Yorkshire (East) 42 9 12 3
Yorkshire (North) 141 37 44 4
Yorkshire (South) 77 19 27 5
Yorkshire (West) 131 30 70 13
Total: 391 98 153 25