The Innovation of Nitro

“It’s a great exercise in how changing one parameter can affect the flavor of the beer.” Joe Schiraldi, Director of Operations

Did You Know?

Nitrogen is created in the fusion of stars. That’s right – Milk Stout Nitro is out of this world!

Mr. Invisible

Nitrogen is tasteless, odorless, colorless, and inert. The impact of the mouthfeel and texture of beer, is what changes the flavor perception.

Let’s be honest, beer is nearly perfect already. So why go Nitro?

Nitrogen in beer has a big impact on mouthfeel and as a result, it shapes our overall flavor perception. Nitrogen has minimal solubility, forming LOTS of tiny bubbles in your glass, with only one place to go – up! When the beer is dispensed, a cascade of these tiny Nitrogen bubbles unleashes, gliding upwards to reveal the body and build a tight thick head. The outcome is a Nitro beer that is lightly carbonated with a creamy texture and smoother flavor profile, in contrast to a CO2 beer that has a more prickly carbonation and overt flavor. With Milk Stout Nitro, the silky mouthfeel and creaminess of a nitrogenated beer is a great canvas for the mocha roast and milk chocolate notes of our sweet stout. Like our very own Joe Schiraldi alludes to, Nitro beer is a great exercise in how changing one parameter can affect the whole beer!

On the first night of the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, Left Hand changed craft beer history forever with the introduction of Milk Stout Nitro in a bottle. Left Hand is both the first American and the first craft brewery to master the science of bottling a Nitrogen beer without a widget. Two years later, we expanded the bottled Nitro series with Sawtooth Nitro and Wake Up Dead Nitro. To our fortune & delight, the beers have met with overwhelming excitement and reception, as fans can now enjoy the draft experience of a Nitro beer from home!

In 2017, Left Hand is back at it again making history with the first ever US production run of a US made nitro widget can. Milk Stout Nitro cans will make Left Hand’s most popular and influential beer more accessible than ever. Now nitro fans can take the beer on the go and drink a perfectly smooth and creamy Milk Stout Nitro right from the can. While a glass is recommended for the perfect pint from any package, cans bring greater drinking versatility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Serve beer chilled at 40-45°. Hard pour a Left Hand Nitro bottle at a 180 degrees in a 16oz glass.
Pouring hard mixes the gas inside, dispensing the perfect pint. As Nitrogen gets warmer its solubility increases and the gas is more apt to escape when pouring with potential spillover. Keep those Nitrogen molecules cold & happy! visit the Pour Hard page

No. C’mon now! Pouring hard into a glass mixes the Nitrogen in the beer building the cascade and head of the beer, making it a key step to drinking a Milk Stout Nitro.

And now that you are in the Nitro know, spread the Pour Hard gospel to your beer loving fam. Remember, friends don’t let friends drink from the bottle!

Milk Stout Nitro cans on the other hand are “good to go from the can.” While a glass is recommended for the perfect pint from any package, cans now allow you to enjoy nitro wherever you go.


Each classic CO₂ and Nitro beer (Milk Stout, Sawtooth Ale and Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout) contain the same ingredients and are meant to be highly similar. The main difference is mouthfeel. Our classic CO₂ beers have a much greater carbonic bite than our Nitro varieties. The addition of Nitrogen to a beer gives way to much smaller bubbles, creating a smoother, creamier experience. Visually, you will notice that our CO₂ beers have more a more classic looking head when poured into a glass. Nitro pours on the other hand have thick, billowy, heads with a cascading effect in the body of the pint. The difference in gas also has a slight effect on taste & aroma. Our CO₂ beers have a greater nose, as well as more pronounced malt and hop flavors. The Nitro beers have an overall creaminess and more blended aroma and flavor profile.
Originally the inspiration for Milk Stout Nitro bottles came from the idea of being able to enjoy a draft experience at home. Now with the addition of cans, you can enjoy the draft experience at home, on the go, or simply wherever and whenever you want.
Tiny, tiny tweezers that drop in one Nitro bubble at a time.

Or maybe it’s this guy...

video by Ian Sargent