When I turned vegan, my close friends took great delight in the fact I wouldn’t be able to relax with a beer (or two) at the weekend after a long and often pressurised week at work!
For those in the know, some breweries (particularly in the UK) use isinglass finings as a processing aid to speed up the clarification of beer. However, a growing number of small and medium sized independent breweries are omitting isinglass and promoting hazy style beers which are inadvertently appealing to vegan drinkers. This week’s Man-Kind blog focuses on one such brewery based in the picturesque county of Dorset, UK.
The Gyle 59 Brewery
Amanda and Jon are the proud owners of Gyle 59, a small micro-brewery based just outside the tranquil seaside town of Lyme Regis. As my partner says Lyme Regis is her spiritual home, we spent New Year’s Eve 2015 there and guess what? Gyle 59 held a visitor’s event the following day!
Their brewery is tucked away in the rolling English countryside which was a bit problematic to find, even with satellite navigation. But what a treat we had when we eventually arrived, with free beer and soft drinks for those who had driven.
The brewery is spring fed and log powered so, as well as the beers being vegan, the impact on the environment is minimised. Amanda was an excellent host for the afternoon making sure everyone’s glass was never empty. Jon delivered a comprehensive tour of the brewery explaining that their intention was to keep all the flavour and goodness in the beer and that this was more important than being able to see through it.
A Vegan Following
It was clear that Jon was extremely passionate about brewing good quality beer. When I asked him if he was omitting isinglass from his brewing to cater for a vegan market he explained that hadn’t been his intention but he was overwhelmed with how many vegans had praised his work.
Jon explained that their beers are crafted with one thing in mind – flavour. He explained how they were fortunate to have a good supply of spring water available within the grounds of the brewery which allowed the different qualities of the ingredients they used to shine through.
To appeal to vegan (and non-vegan) drinkers Jon has created an array of different beer styles. These include pale ales, bitters, wheat beers, IPAs, an interesting Belgian Farmhouse ale and even a lager!
Wonderful Tastes and Flavours
As I tell most people, being vegan is an addition to my life rather than going without the things I enjoy. Beer is no exception!
One of my favourite beers that Gyle 59 brew is called Toujours Saison – a lovely 4.0% Belgian Farmhouse style ale. The malts are chosen specifically for this beer to complement the earthy, peppery and spicy yeast flavours.
Pouring this beer into a Belgian style glass and relaxing next to my log burner on a cold UK winter evening always brings back great memories of cycling to Brussels a few years ago…
Nostalgia aside, my other staple favourite from Gyle 59 is Pale and Bitter. Sold in a half litre bottle with an unmissable yellow label, this 5.0% beer has a lemon citrus and herbal aroma with a long dry bitter finish. This seems to be one of Gyle 59’s flagship beers and is widely available.
It’s also pleasing to know that through Jon’s passion to brew exceeding wonderful beers, he won the regional silver prize in the 2015 SIBA Cask Ale Competition in the Standard Bitters and Pale Ales category.
Time Gentlemen Please!
I don’t like to prove my friends wrong – but on this occasion, I may be right! Being vegan and carrying out a little research has opened my eyes and palate to a wonderful array of beers that I may have never experienced before.
We hope you enjoyed this post and please also check out barnivore.com to see if your beer is vegan and remember ‘Please drink responsibly!’
* This is not a paid advertisement for:
- Gyle 59 Brewery
We just think they are great!