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What is a Nitro Beer?

In recent years, nitro beer has become increasingly popular amongst beer enthusiasts, making its way from being served in specialty craft bars to now being poured from a can.

But what makes a nitro beer so special?

Nitro beers are not so much about flavor as they are about texture and mouthfeel.

A perfect nitro pour gives a beautiful creamy head with cascading bubbles that adds to an already smooth body built on malt, hops, water, and yeast.

It is truly a marvel of modern brewing technology that has taken the art of craft beer to the next level.

Let’s dive into the world of nitro beer and discover how it differs from regular beer and why it has become such a hit.

What is Nitro Beer?

Nitro-infused beers are brewed with nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide. This nitrogen gives it a smooth and creamy mouthfeel with very tiny bubbles resulting in an incredibly smooth experience.

The result is an incredibly drinkable and almost luxurious brew with bold flavors which still retain their complexity thanks to the smaller bubble size.

The Science Behind Nitro Beer

Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide which makes it more difficult to dissolve in beer. This is where the widget comes into play. The widget traps the nitrogen in tiny bubbles until it comes into contact with liquid, usually during pouring or shaking as one does when drinking from a can.

Once it hits the liquid, these tiny bubbles burst open giving off a beautiful cascade of foam that adds volume, creaminess, and mouthfeel to each sip you take of your favorite brew.

Nitro Beer vs Regular Beer

The biggest difference between regular beers and nitro beers is the bubble size and texture of each sip you enjoy.

Regular carbonated beers usually have bigger bubbles which result in a fizzier finish on your tongue whereas nitro beers have smaller bubbles resulting in a much smoother body and less carbonation tingle on your palate as you enjoy your beer.

Additionally, some people believe that nitro beers have more flavor complexity as well due to this smoother texture allowing for more subtle flavors to come through in each sip without being overwhelmed by larger bubbles found in regular carbonated beers.

The Different Types of Nitro Beer

There are many types of nitro beer available out there but some popular ones include dry stout (think Guinness), porters, pale ales, brown ales, IPAs, imperial stouts, sour ales, and even wheat beers!

Each type lends itself differently to being served as a nitro pour but regardless of whether it’s an Irish Dry Stout or Imperial Stout – each one will give you an amazing creamy foam cap atop any glass or can be poured correctly!

How To Enjoy Nitro Beer

  • Always pour your favorite brew down vertically – this will give you maximum foamy goodness!
  • Shake up your can before opening for best results – this helps build pressure before pouring for maximum creaminess!
  • Pour into an appropriate glass – ‘tulip’ glasses help retain the head better than straight pint glasses do!


If you’ve ever heard someone say they prefer ‘nitrogen poured’ craft brews over ‘carbonation poured’ ones then they may not just be talking taste but also texture!

Nitrogen-infused beers have smaller bubbles than carbonated ones resulting in bigger flavor profiles that are far smoother when drinking them out of either the bottle or the glass!

Do yourself (and your tastebuds) a favor next time you pick up some craft brews – grab yourself one packed with nitrogen instead!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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