Beer, Beer, & Better Beer | HopCat

Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

What is Nitro Beer Anyway?
Kate Van Doren | June 15, 2016
Beer Science

KateNitro is not just for stouts anymore. Pales, IPAs, and even fruit beers are now being offered “on nitro”. So, what happens to your favorite pale beer when it is carbonated differently? Why did we even start serving beer this way in the first place? In 1959, Guinness was the first to offer its beer on nitrogen. Originally, Guinness' now famous stout was served from wooden casks conditioned right at the pub; we call beer like this “real ale" or "cask ale”. Nitrogenated beer mimicked the mouthfeel of cask ale without the issues of handling wooden kegs or reliance on a conditioning savvy publican. Today, beer served "on nitro,” is typically a blend of 70% nitrogen and 30% carbon dioxide. So what does this mean to you? The higher ratio of tiny nitrogen bubbles to the much larger CO2 bubble translates as a “creamy” mouthfeel, enabling a brewer to change the way we experience a beer without changing the recipe. Your favorite pale ale when served on nitrogen will have less hop bite and notably less carbonation. Thanks, science!

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