From: Dublin, Ireland
Style: Irish Dry Stout
Jimmy Carbone says: "Until the late 1950s, Guinness was poured like other real ales of the time—from a wooden cask, either by a gravity faucet or a hand pump. But some of the publicans had trouble with the beer when it got too lively and foamy. Guinness pioneered the use of a nitrogen/carbon dioxide blended gas to stabilize the beer. Many cask ale fans might curse Guinness for this innovation, but I'm taking the reverse course, and here's why:
Once I'd become familiar with various cask beers, I believed the common Guinness was an industrial version of what was once "real ale." No other beer has a head quite like the Guinness head—it's an invention of modern scientific thought. Every time the classic head rises in a glass of draft Guinness pulled anywhere in the world, it can be traced to the use of nitrogen as a component of the beer’s dispensing gas. But the nitrogen is simply mimicking what a good pub owner had traditionally been able to do with careful handling of cask Guinness pulled through a hand pump.
Now that casks are trendy again, the importance of the Guinness nitro pour comes into relief. By the 1960s, Guinness had pioneered the use of the nitrogen/CO2 mix in all their kegs and pub dispense systems. With this innovation in place, the style spread through out the world. Why most influential? As draft and craft beers made a comeback in the '90s, Guinness gave people a standard option that wasn't yellow; it made going out to pubs a different experience from sitting home with a six pack; and it kept color in beer, giving us a much-loved style stout that everyone could use as a reference point as they grew to discover craft beer."