Beer Gas: What You Need to Know

Learn what kind of gas works best with your beer

Lots of people love to drink beer, but not everyone realizes the careful science behind every bottle and glass. It’s true though, there’s a lot of science that goes into making a beer and some fine-tuned measurements that are the difference between a perfect glass of a stout, ale or IPA, and a flat, unappealing mess. One of these things is beer gas, which is used to carbonate and pressurize beer, as well as reduce foaming and wasted beer. For any facility brewing or even just dispensing beer, it’s important to know how beer gas affects the beer you serve and what blend of gas is best for what beer. Here at Tognazzini Beverage Services, we keep you and your business supplied with any of the different kinds of beer gas you need, but it’s important to know how they work what each different one does. Luckily, we’ve got your back, all you have to do is read on!

So what’s all the gas about?

Typically, the traditional way of serving beer is with carbon dioxide, to push the beer out of the tap and maintain the natural carbonization of the beer. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that the amount of carbon dioxide already in the beer has to be taken into account, if there’s too much carbon dioxide on top of the amount that’s already in the beer, then the beer will get overly foamy and if there’s too little, then the beer goes flat. Now, this might make some people wonder why not just use pressurized air instead and not have to worry about matching carbon dioxide levels? The issue with that is that air is, well, oxygen, and oxygen damages beer. Specifically, it damages beer flavors because oxygen shortens the shelf of life of beer and also introduces organic contaminants, which not only messes with the flavor, it makes for a dirty line for your draft that will need to be cleaned more frequently. In short, the benefit of it being the cheapest and not having to worry about carbon dioxide levels is not worth all the negatives. Nitrogen, while not being strong enough to use with most beers – in other words, it will make them go flat – it is frequently used in conjunction with carbon dioxide (in about a 25% carbon dioxide 75% nitrogen mix) to create “nitro beers,” typically stouts, which have very low levels of carbonation and are noted for their smooth, creamy texture and general thickness. This is beer gas, and Guinness is a well-known example of a beer that uses this process. Finally, there’s Argon, which is used by brewers to protect unfermented beer and could be used in conjunction with carbon dioxide, but it’s pretty expensive and less practical.

Final Word

And now you know a little more about the science behind your frosty glass of beer! Pre-blended and mixed beer gas is just one of the many products and services that we offer at Tognazzini Beverage Services, along with sodas and beer machines, repairs and servicing. So pick some up today for your drafts and cheers!


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