A Brief History of Blended Gas For Draft Beer: Part II
Updated: Feb 14
In 1988 a company from California named Draft Systems owned at the time by Mert Fallon sold all of the company's assets to a large company from Denmark with exception of a few products. The company that acquired Mert's business had no interest in these products as they did not see any value in them at the time. However, Mert saw the potential integrity of one of these products which happened to be a gas blender that he had a hand in designing for Guinness. With the blender portion of the acquisition being thrown to the wayside, McDantim was established along with another company called Beverage Systems Limited. There were several gas blenders on the market at that time but lacked efficient performance, required electricity, and had a heavy price tag. Beverage Systems Limited the entity of McDantim in the UK first found a demand for their blending technology working with a company named Calor Gas. Calor Gas at the time had developed a N2 Generator/Seperator, and ended up stumbling upon a brewery application that called for a gas blender. This story in itself has more detail, and will be revisited in Part IV.
In the US Prior to blended gas, Bars and restaurants would use straight CO2, or compressed air mixed with CO2 to push beer in long draw systems to alleviate over carbonation. The downside was delivering flat beer, as well as introducing oxygen causing the beer to spoil faster and dispense with off flavors and creating “wild” beer.
In 1991 McDantim Came to market in the US with their blender to efficiently blend N2/CO2 to help solve the issue of over carbonated, and under carbonated beer regardless of the length of the system, as well as to support Guinness Draught. At that time Guinness was making a big sales push in the United States that demanded the proper gas to dispense their product. They would visit Gas distributors in their selected markets in attempts to develop a partnership in hopes the distributors would partner with McDantim or alternatively make a custom 25% CO2 75% N2 Premix gas that would be filled in a cylinder for the dispense of their product anywhere Guinness was to be on draft.