The boss of Hogs Back Brewery has hit out at the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) over its apparent mixed messages on isinglass, the fish product commonly used to clarify beer.

Yesterday beer author and CAMRA veteran Roger Protz was reported as suggesting more breweries should follow Guinness’ example and stop using the gelatine product, which is made from fish bladders and is used as a fining agent.

But despite making it clear it was not calling for a ban, Hogs Back chief executive Rupert Thompson accused the real ale organisation of causing “regrettable confusion”.

He said: “Ironically, the main beer that we usually brew without using isinglass is Hogstar English Craft Lager, which has been banned by CAMRA from the Great British Beer Festival because it’s an English keg lager! Hogstar clears by itself due to the longer maturation process.”

Thompson said the Surrey brewery, which brews flagship brand TEA - Traditional English Ale - uses isinglass, but was open to alternatives if they were effective at clarifying beer.

He added: “We are great supporters of CAMRA and have been working with them for the past two years to reach an agreement that will allow Hogstar to be enjoyed at the GBBF and other CAMRA festivals alongside our other beers.

“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.”

CAMRA said the confusion had come after the BBC misreported comments by Protz about how breweries were looking to alternatives to clear beer.

A spokesman said: “CAMRA does not have any policy on the use of Isinglass and neither the press release, nor Roger’s article made any suggestion that CAMRA is calling for brewers to stop using Isinglass.”

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