Person pulling a pint at a bar

Understand your beer gases for the perfect pint

Two gases are used for dispensing keg beers and ciders- carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2). It’s essential to select the correct premixed ratio to pour the perfect pint. Beer gas mix affects the performance and taste of homebrews and those supplied by bars and restaurants. Select the incorrect mix ratio for your beers, stouts, lagers and ciders, and you and your customers will soon notice the difference. Premixed beer gas comes in various ratios. Typically these are:

Beer gas is also supplied as 100% CO2.

The benefits of choosing the correct beer gas ratio

Choosing the correct beer gas blend is crucial to achieving the right consistency and flavour. Beer gas ratios affect:

How to choose the right beer gas blend for different drinks

It is vital to use the correct gas blend for different drink types to serve beers and ciders at their optimum. Most beers and ciders are carbonated. The more carbon dioxide trapped in a drink, the fizzier and livelier the brew will be. Nitrogen is an insoluble gas. It produces larger amounts of smaller bubbles than carbon dioxide, which creates a smoother consistency. Nitro beers and stouts are mildly carbonated with a greater quantity of nitrogen. Using too much nitrogen in lagers, IPAs, and regular ciders would make them too flat. For this reason, the following beer gas blends are generally applied to certain types of drinks:

For certain drinks, such as Guinness, Tetley’s Smoothflow and John Smith’s Extra Smooth, you should always use a 70 / 30 gas mix. It’s also perfectly acceptable to use 100% CO2 for lager and cider kegs such as Carling, Stella Artois or Strongbow, Stella Cidre. The beauty of drinking and serving ales, lagers and ciders is the sheer variety of every drink and every pour. Just as brewers do, you can experiment with your beer gas blends to see which suits your taste and that of your customers. At London Gases, we supply beer gases to standard mixes (100% CO2, 60/40, 30/70 and 50/50) so you can ensure you have the right beer gas to pour the perfect pint, no matter the brew.