A Brief History of Blended Gas For Draft Beer: Part I

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

The History of blended beverage gas for draft beer.

In 1955 Guinness had brought in a British mathematician named Michael Ash who was handed a department within the brewery to help solve an issue they encountered while developing Guinness draught. The pending system consisted of an archaic design that blended highly carbonated or conditioned beer with aged still beer. It was a very time consuming, and grueling process. The main goal that Guinness tasked Ash with was to make their product easy to dispense and settle quickly. A system that would not require any special training to function.

Ash had made the discovery that adding a gas blend of Nitrogen (N2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) was the key to the solution. With Nitrogen being less soluble than Carbon Dioxide (the natural byproduct from fermentation) it is able to be applied at high pressures without making the beer to fizzy. Ash eventually worked with a keg manufacturer to develop a special two-part keg with one part containing Guinness Draught, and the other part a chamber of a N2/CO2 gas blend. This system with the addition of a restriction plate at the faucet had answered the problem Guinness sought out to solve. Guinness draught finally launched in 1959 and Michael Ash’s development was ultimately called the “easy serve system”. It became prominent throughout the UK during the 1960’s. During that time in 1964 Guinness built a research facility which ultimately developed the innovative widget for the Guinness can line in 1988. This was a marvel for beer packaging technology that brought Guinness Draught into the home of the Guinness drinker. Around this same time Guinness had called out to Manufacturers, and the compressed gas industry requesting a technology that could blend on-site CO2 and Nitrogen to help modernize Guinness draught. This is where a company named McDantim Technologies plays a crucial part in the evolution of draft beer quality. To Be Continued...

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