Nitrogen gassed beer is a trend that has slowly been building in the craft beer industry with great help from Left Hand Brewing Company who trademarked “Nitro” and released their bottled Nitro series in 2011. Left Hand and Nitro beer are so closely intertwined, their Milk Stout Nitro is their best selling beer and had become the poster child for their brewery, as well as the bigger genera of Nitro beers.
Typically beer is fueled by Carbon Dioxide and produces big bubbles in the head that dissipates quickly. On the other hand, Nitrogen beers are adorned with a thick head made of micro bubbles that greatly enhance the mouthfeel of a beer making it smoother, and creamier. Nitrogen can be added to almost any style of beer and usually evens out the flavors, and slightly reduces the aroma.
It was only appropriate for Left Hand to honor the style they brought to light by hosting an all Nitro beer festival. With our Masquerade attire ready, camera in tow, and dressed to impress The Pint made its way to Left Hand Brewing’s second annual Nitro Fest held at Roosevelt park in Longmont.
Just as Left Hand beers are out of the ordinary so was their circus themed Nitro Fest that took place in a giant tent reminiscent of DIA. The festival sights consisted of luminous characters atop stilts waltzing through a dapper crowd wearing masks of all colors while a DJ spun tantalizing tunes. Aerial dancers contorted their bodies in between silk ribbons above our heads while each attendee sipped full 5oz pours of creamy smooth Nitro beer. Yes, this was a beer lover’s wonderland with borders made of pure cascading, nitro gold from around the country.
40 breweries were present from near and far including local breweries such as, Big Thompson Brewery with their Oatmeal Stout, Wibby Brewing Co. with their Moondoor Dunkel, Great Divide brought their Oatmeal Yeti, and Wiley Roots Brewing Co. with their Midnight On The Run double chocolate Porter which brewer Kyle Carbaugh mentions “is great with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.”
Some of our favorites from around the country included Dogfish head, who brought their 90 minute IPA, Samuel Adams American Kriek, and Lagunitas Hazelnut Cocoa Stout. If you are a fan of Nitro beer, Left Hand has a circus waiting for you next year at Nitro Fest, until then you can enjoy Sawtooth Ale Nitro, Milk Stout Nitro, and Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout Nitro in bottles (remember to “Pour Hard”), or visit their tap room for a full selection of both Nitro and draught beer at 1265 Boston Ave. Longmont, Colorado.