Guinness is bringing Nitro IPA to the States, reports Beer Street Journal. No release date has been set yet, but we do know the hoppier, lighter Guinness offering is infused with nitrogen and brewed with Admiral, Celeia, Topaz, Challenger, and Cascade hops. The nitro IPA—which clocks in at 5.8% ABV and 40 IBUs—will be issued in 11.2 ounce cans (a common can size outside of the U.S.).
Guinness has a long history with nitrogen. It is, after all, what makes a “proper pint of Guinness” a proper pint of Guinness. That thick, frothy, creamy head and mouthfeel just aren’t possible with straight CO2 carbonation. Guinness has its carbonation formula locked down at a ratio of 75 percent nitrogen to 25 percent carbon dioxide, according to Esquire.
But what happens when you apply nitrogen to an IPA? Thomas Vincent is pub brewer at Natty Greene’s Pub and Brewery in Raleigh, N.C. He explained to CraftBeer.com why, historically, you see more porters and stouts than IPAs on nitro.
But Vincent also went on to note that “anything is possible,” especially since everyone—even mega-brewers with Diageo money—is more willing to experiment in the midst of this craft-beer age.
Plus, it just looks good. As Terrence Sullivan of Sierra Nevada told CraftBeer.com,
[pullquote]“I love a beer with a nice head. Nitrogenated [beer] is so tight…and with the cascading it’s a beautiful specimen to me. It’s hard to be at a bar, see one being served, and not say, ‘my gosh that looks good.’ It’s appetizing.”[/pullquote]
Obviously, this aesthetics argument only applies if drinkers of the Guinness Nitro IPA have the patience to pour it instead of chugging it directly out of the can. Will this work better than Guinness Blonde American Lager to turn around Guinness fortunes in the U.S.? Only time (and taste) will tell.
[via Beer Street Journal]