Why craft brewery ‘moved with the times’ – and is now pouring vegan-friendly pints

The Briarbank Brewery in Ipswich has switched to producing vegan beers across its whole range - rais

The Briarbank Brewery in Ipswich has switched to producing vegan beers across its whole range - raising a glass are trainee brewer Daniel Hydes and head brewer Robert Pyke Picture: GAVIN KING - Credit: Archant

The independent Briarbank Brewery in Ipswich has switched its entire range of own-brewed beers to vegan-friendly products.


From its stouts and porters to traditional bitter and lager, all of its Ipswich-brewed beer is now suitable for vegans.

Head brewer Robert Pyke said: "We had some people ask whether our beer was vegan, so we looked into it and started to trial different processes

"We felt we were moving with the times."

Briarbank produces around 6,500 pints each month, mostly served to drinkers locally at the brewery tap upstairs or at Isaacs on the Quay next door.

Beer is made from malt (barley), hops, water and yeast and traditionally finings are used to clarify the beer, when it is racked into barrels.

That is often animal or fish based, and so is not vegan-friendly.

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Mr Pyke said: "We looked at alternative products to stop the beer becoming cloudy, and found a non-animal based finings product.

"We started with our Black Horse Stout, which is one of our most popular beers. We wanted to get it right with that.

"People didn't find any flavour or quality changes so we knew we were doing it right.

"We were never going ahead until we were happy with the quality of the beer.

"We wanted to keep the clarity of the beer and still be vegan-friendly."

The response had been good so they had now rolled it out across the whole range of beers brewed, he added.

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