Here’s the beautiful thing about craft beer: Brewers are never satisfied with “good” or even “great.”
They’re always finding new ways to take their beers to “11.” Bourbon barrel aging, dry hopping, blending batches, resting porters on cocoa nibs…They’re always looking for ways to make good beer better.
Take Oskar Blues’ Old Chub. It’s an excellent beer. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. A perfect example of a Scotch ale—malty, biscuity, and chocolatey without being too decadent. It’s a hell of a beer.
But that wasn’t good enough for Oskar Blues, so this year, they introduced cans of Old Chub juiced with nitrogen.
Nitrogen is basically a different way of adding carbonation to the beer, typically malt forward beers like stouts or porters. The addition of nitrogen adds a creamy element to the beer. Guinness is the most famous example of a beer that’s gassed with nitrogen.
Oskar Blues put a nitrogen widget in each 16-ounce can of their Scotch Ale. Pop the top and the gas is released into the beer. That’s an over simplification of the process, but I’m an overly simple guy.
This new, nitrogen Old Chub, is better than the traditional Old Chub. It goes to 11. Pour the beer into a glass and the bubbles do this crazy wave dance thing as they make their way up the side of the glass. The beer has a thick head that looks like you could tap dance on, but it’s actually as soft as cotton candy. The drink itself is as smooth as Billy D. Williams.
It’s stupid creamy. I’d like to see more beers get the nitro treatment. I’m sure it’s expensive as hell, but the result is addictive. It’s like taking your typical stout or porter, and filtering it through the Shaft soundtrack. You know what I’m saying? Smooth, people. Smooth…