Surrey’s Hogs Back Brewery have issued a response to a statement in CAMRA’s “Good Beer Guide” supporting a move away from the use of isinglass as a clearing agent in beer. The use of isinglass is controversial, as it is made from the swim bladder of a fish.
The brewery, which was founded in 1992, says that they have been contacted by consumers regarding erroneous assumptions that CAMRA intend to ban the use of isinglass. Rupert Thompson, managing director of Hogs Back Brewery said, “We understand that CAMRA has now made it clear that a ban on isinglass is not their official position, but clearly there has been some regrettable confusion.”
Hogs Back Brewery use isinglass in all their cask beers but say that they have “no fixed position” on the subject of it’s use in beer. The brewery have stated an interested in using alternatives, but only if they are proven to be as effective as the traditional isinglass clearing agent. The brewery’s Hogstar English Craft Lager does does not require the use of any clearing agent, as it naturally clears during the longer maturation process.
Hogs Back Brewery have been in negotiations with CAMRA for two years to allow Hogstar to be to be enjoyed at the Great British Beer Festival. Hogstar has previously been banned from the GBBF, as it is an English keg lager and therefore does not meet the festival criteria. Rupert Thompson said “given how long this process is taking, it was surprising to find out this morning about an apparent sudden change in official CAMRA policy on this subject.”
In 2015, Hogstar English Craft Lager won a Gold award at the Society of Independent Brewers’ National Keg Beer Competition.