This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

How Nitrogen Powers St. Patrick's Day Beer Business

"You're dealing with the exact same beer and all the specifications of that beer are exactly the same, with the exception of the volume of dissolved carbon dioxide, which is much lower," Hunter says. "By virtue of that and the nitrogen gas that is in there that is rushed out of solution and comes through in the cascading effect, you're getting a beer with less carbonation in it so you're getting a creamier mouth feel and changing the way your palate perceives it texturally."

That said, both beer geeks and average drinkers have their doubts. Tucker says his reviewers' most common complaint about nitro beers is that nitrogen diminishes beer's aroma by trapping it under a layer of fine foam. That claim is unfounded, he says, because the nitrogen bubbles in the head are still very active. Tucker notes that nitrogen can be great for adding a creamy texture to chocolate- and coffee-infused beers such as Dieu du Ciel's Aphrodisiac and Peche Mortel, but he and Berkshire Brewing's Hunter acknowledge that nitrogen can make citrusy beers less acidic. For the IPA-averse, that's not such a bad thing.

"We've actually experimented and run all our beers through nitro and found that some we thought would be great were horrible and some we thought would be horrible turned out to be gems," Hunter says. "With the IPA, people flocked to it because the nitrogenation process and the dispensing process releases a lot of the aromatics and strips some of the perceived bitterness, so it has a different effect and comes out seeming like a different beer."

Even the subtle changes nitrogen produces in a beer have made more brewers consider using it. Hunter and Berkshire brewing are building a tank specifically for nitro beers that will increase the possibility of doing other styles and speed up the nitro process. Longmont, Colo.-based Left Hand Brewing recently released a nitrogen version of its flagship Milk Stout and eliminated the need for clunky nitrogen widgets that rattled around in previous bottled incarnations of nitrogen beers.

As is often the case with nitro beers, Left Hand took its cue from Guinness, which eliminated nitrogen widgets from its bottles a few years back but continues to make nitrogen a core part of its packaged goods business. While Guinness doesn't exactly give out the secrets of its nitrogen-adding process to craft competitors, its master brewer seems acutely aware of why other breweries want to have their beers nitro-powered for St. Patrick's Day and whenever else their local bar can spare a nitro tap.

"It's the greatest beer innovation of all time," Guinness' Murray says. "It transformed the brand Guinness and made us the lighthouse beer that you have to craft behind the bar."

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:







Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,909.70 -5.37 -0.03%
S&P 500 1,964.05 -0.63 -0.03%
NASDAQ 4,407.4580 +11.2540 0.26%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs