The 2nd Nitro

Here is the quote that should make you place an order at the bar, “DBA is the beer that started it all for us in 1996, but this may be its truest form yet,” said David Walker.

The English-style bitter, Double Barrel Ale (DBA) from Firestone Walker will be on offer nitro style. This is the 2nd nitro after Velvet Merlin and they have picked another from the stable that really will be affected by the dispense. I highly suggest trying regular one night and make notes and then get a pint nitro’d and see what differences you spot.

Nitro or Not

So, when Left Hand Brewing came to L.A., I basically bought one of everything.  Intrigued by all the possibilities, was I. One of which is the topic for today.

Milk Stout.  Nitro or regular?


I have only ever had the Nitro, so to be able to taste test the two was great.  Here are the results

Milk Stout – the label is certainly better with the cow and left hands and Van Gogh-ish font and swirls. Much less of a head than the nitro, which is to be expected but the difference is still stark. This beer is super chocolately to me. Almost pudding like with that level of sweetness. Some burnt edges to it as well.

Nitro Milk Stout – the mouthfeel is so different. Really soft and velvety.  The sweetness is cut a bit so there is less of a milk chocolate taste to it. More whipped cream with chocolate instead. Little more coffee bitterness coming through here as well. And much lighter with a touch of spice that lingers at the end.

It is hard to choose a winner. Both have positives in different arenas but I would settle on the Nitro due to the mouthfeel. It is just more unique and plays up the lactose in the beer.

Nitro in a Can


Oskar Blues Brewery have had various nitro options since 2009 under the leadership of brewer Juice Drapeau. It has centered on their Scotch ale, Old Chub, but they have also given the nitro treatment to others in their core line-up  such as Dale’s Pale Ale, Deviant IPA & G’Knight Imperial Red IPA.

Now they have added a Nitro widget which is “attached to the bottom of the can and is charged with liquid nitrogen during the filling process. The widget releases the nitrogen when the can is opened, liberating the cascading creamy smooth nitro pour.”

Maybe know we can get more than just Guiness and few British beers with nitro cans.


Pyramid Weiss Cream

This may seem gimmicky and some people may think nitro is just for stouts and porters but I think Pyramid is onto something here. Plus it is a cool name. “Brewed with orange peel and vanilla, then nitrogenated to provide an extra smooth mouthfeel, Weiss Cream serves up a creamsicle like flavor worth sharing with friends.”

Nitro taps

I was at Blue Palms trying to decide what beer to get when I saw the magic word, “NITRO”. I thought to myself, Why do I not see it more? Is it just a Portland/Seattle thing? Is it a dying fad?

I certainly hope not because some beers with the addition of a well poured Nitro can round out the rough edges of a beer and give it perfect balance such as the Rubicon Goldfinger Bitter. Rubicon is a brewery on the cusp. I like what they are trying to accomplish but was always left wanting a little more, oomph. Nitro did it. The creaminess and carbonation added extra layers to what could be a boring beer to us hop addled folks. It was like getting a In ‘n’ Out burger plated by Wolfgang Puck. There was a little pizazz.

My plea to everyone out there on the beer interweb is to keep asking for Nitro. Every beer spot worth its salt should have one.