Guinness on tap now suitable for vegetarians and vegans - bottles and cans are next

Guinness is now free from fish products
Guinness is now free from fish products

Vegetarians and vegans can now enjoy a pint of the black stuff after Ireland's most famous alcoholic export went veggie.

Previously, Guinness was not suitable for veggies because it was filtered using isinglass - a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish.

The material is a form of collagen which is used in the clarification and fining of many beers and wines.

However, after a major overhaul of the filtration system at its famous St. James’s Gate Brewery by owners Diageo, all draught Guinness is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

A spokeswoman for Guinness said: "The first stage of the roll out of the new filtration system concentrated on Guinness Draught in kegs.

"The brewery is delighted to confirm that this phase of the project is complete and all Guinness Draught produced in keg format at St. James’s Gate Brewery and served in pubs, bars and restaurants around the world, is brewed without using isinglass to filter the beer.

"Production and distribution has also commenced on the bottle and can formats of Guinness Draught. It will take some time to reach the full scale distribution of these formats, but this is expected by the end of 2017."

The announcement ends years of waiting by vegans and vegetarians who were desperate to drink Guinness once more.

Former Baywatch star and vegan Pamela Anderson famously said she would drink a pint of Guinness with Irish Taoiseach (head of Government) Enda Kenny once it went vegan, if he supported her campaign to end animal circuses.

Diageo said through advances in brewing technology, the Guinness brewery identified an alternative process by investing in a new hi-tech filtration system.

The spokeswoman added: "Innovation is at the heart of brewing at The St. James’s Gate Brewery.

"As one of the most progressive breweries in the world, we have both driven and incorporated new brewing technology into our processes and our breweries around the world, all the while maintaining the brewing tradition that has been handed down from brewer-to-brewer for generations."

"The second stage of the project, focusing on the other Guinness stout variants, is now underway.

"The recipe for Guinness has not changed and the taste has not changed. It is still the same great pint of Guinness it has always been, loved by millions of people around the world."

See for detailed information on each of the products and variants. Vegans, who can consume Guinness from keg format, are advised check the website for further details about other formats.