The Nitro Comment
The Nitro Comment
Recently, a colleague of mine posted a blog regarding nitrogenized beer on their company Facebook page (http://www.comradebrewing.com/say-no-to-nitro-beer/). I welcome you to read the article for yourself and form your own opinion, but loving the beer industry as I do, I felt compelled to make my own public comment.
The crux of the article is that no beer should be served on nitro ever. First, I don’t like absolute statements because rarely are they true. Second, the beer industry is better when we support innovation rather than criticize it. The thesis of the blog is supported by the following assertions:
- Nitro beer is solving a problem that has already been fixed
- Nitro beer will be flat in 30 minutes so putting a high abv beer on nitro encourages irresponsible consumption
- Nitrogenizing an IPA will deplete hop aroma
Let’s take these one at a time shall we? Nitro beer is solving a problem that has already been fixed…um huh? It would be more accurate to say that nitro beers replicate an old world style of serving beer before the days of force carbing, machines to measure volumes of CO2, gas regulators, beer engines, vessels capable of holding pressure and the like. The change in gas from CO2 to nitro creates a textural change in the beer which in turn changes the flavor experience of that beer. Nitro isn’t attempting to solve any problems, it is simply offering the beer drinker a different flavor and sensory experience.
Implying that putting a high ABV beer on nitro encourages irresponsible consumption is in a word…absurd. High quality, high abv beers are not the alcohol of choice for those simply out to get drunk. Additionally, breweries and other establishments serving high abv beers almost always serve them in a smaller glass for portion control. I say almost always because I have seen my 11% triple IPA served in a pint glass at a restaurant. Yikes! Finally, is 30 minutes not ample time to consume a high abv beer without falling off your bar stool? Come on!
I’ll agree to the third point that a nitrogenized beer will deplete hop aroma. I don’t enjoy all styles on nitrogen personally. But isn’t choice and variety what make the Colorado beer scene great?! If someone likes their IPA on nitro who am I to say they are wrong? The joy of beer is the experimentation. If we never tried new things how would we know when we stumbled on to something super delicious? Taste is a personal thing and here is an absolute I’ll stand by – there should NEVER be any rules to what we experiment with. Why do you think our company is called Renegade? There is a certain irreverence to beer that makes it special.
We make a simple beverage that has been made virtually since the beginning of time. The joy in that beverage is the company you can share while enjoying it. Whether the conversation is around celebrations, the honesty of a hard day, or just the recap of the last episode of your favorite TV show, beer brings us together. To quote Adam Sandler “green jacket, gold jacket, who gives a shit?”. So whether you take your beer with CO2 or nitro, drink Colorado beer. Personally, I think a nice Left Hand Milk Stout might feel pretty nice in your hand while you watch the Broncos dominate the Panthers.
Cheers to Colorado Beer!