Most of the traditional beers we are accustomed to are all carbonated. Carbonation is a natural process that occurs when yeast converts sugar into alcohol. This is called fermentation. The brewer can collect the carbon dioxide produced through this process and it is later infused into the beer. It gives beer a prickly texture like that of soda. However, some brewers choose to use Nitrogen gas instead of carbon dioxide.

Thus, Nitro beer is any beer infused with nitrogen gas. The gas is intended to change the beer’s aroma and flavor. Also, infusing nitrogen gives the beer a creamy mouthfeel and a smoother texture.

However, many people felt that nitrogen-infused beer is not better than the ordinary Co2 infused one. And manufacturers had the challenge of incorporating nitrogen into the brew. As a result, many of them stopped producing nitrogen beer. The only nitrogen-infused beer you could get was Left Hand Milk Stout and Guinness. But things started changing when fans started feeling that aroma and taste are important elements whenever a person wants to enjoy a drink.  Read on to learn more about nitrogen beer and how it is made.

Guinness is one of the companies that infuse nitrogen in its beer. It is the infusion that causes downward flowing bubbles which you will always observe whenever you drink Guinness from a glass. By adding nitrogen, it gives the brand the frothy goodness associated with Guinness.

Left-Hand Brewing borrowed the idea and moved it to a higher level. They started infusing nitro into their top-selling brand milk stout to give it the unique froth that it is known for. Other brands with infused nitro include Breckenridge Brewery’s Nitro Vanilla Porter.

Note that when nitrogen is infused in the beer, it does not dissolve the way carbon dioxide does. Instead, nitrogen produces bubbles and makes the beer creamy and smooth. Also, it dulls the bitterness associated with the beer.  Nitro accentuates the malt flavors and makes the mouth feel fuller when you sip it compared to carbon dioxide.  Also, it enhances its appearance and makes it look unique. It is the reason why you will see bubbles that move downwards. It is what is popularly referred to as cascading. The bubbles along the glass will always move downwards while those in the middle of your glass appear to move upwards.

Initially, to infuse nitrogen into its beer, Guinness placed a widget in the bottle or the can. So when they infused nitrogen into the packaging, nitrogen would rush into the widget and stay pressurized. It is the reason why you always heard a pop sound whenever you opened nitro beer. Opening the can would allow nitrogen to escape from the widget, hence the sound.

But with improvement in nitrogen dosing techniques, brewers no longer need the widget. The new techniques allow them to dose the beer while on the packaging line. However, it still allows the consumers to enjoy the pop sound and experience the cascading bubbles.

Also, brewers need a nitrogen generator to produce the nitrogen they need for brewing.  They then pressurize it to allow it to dissolve in the beer. The beer is then kept in dedicated nitro drafts before it is packaged in cans.

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