Back in January, Pepsi announced a new product: Pepsi Nitro, which was to be a Pepsi product with nitrogen bubbles instead of carbon dioxide fizz. Nitrogen has been used in some alcoholic beverages, most famously in Guinness.
It seemed a bit silly and gratuitous, so of course I wanted to try it. Most of a year later, I cannot find any further info on this beyond the initial announcement. What happened?
I’m pretty sure this is gonna go at a premium, like $10 or more for a six-pack, but I’d like to try it at least once. I get to enjoy a cola while staring into the swirls like when I’m having a Guinness. It’s odd that they made the announcement, then for most of a year, nothing.
It strongly suggests to me that they discovered they couldn’t get it to market. I’m imagining that packaging it would require different machinery than what they use for traditional Pepsi. Maybe the bottlers pushed back on having to buy new machinery, maybe they decided they couldn’t produce it in the quantities needed for a full-scale launch, or maybe they discovered that it would be more expensive to produce than they initially estimated.
Left Hand Brewing also makes a Nitro Milk Stout, the first nitrogen-based beer I tried. The Beer Guy we were out with explained that the smoothness comes from the fact that nitrogen molecules are much smaller than CO2.
But transporting it is tricky, because the smaller bubbles can escape easier, and leave you with a flat beer by the time it gets to the drinker.
So nitrogen makes for a smoother beer not because the molecules are smaller, but because the bubbles are smaller. Chemically, this is because nitrogen is less soluble in water than carbon dioxide is.
Transportation is a solved problem and has been for a long time; Guinness (among others) has a “widget” at the bottom of each can or bottle to provide the nitrogen when the beer is opened. I’m guessing kenobi 65 has a good guess as to the reason this hasn’t hit shelves yet.
I saw individual 13.5 oz cans of Pepsi Nitro in the Walmart while I was shopping today, so I picked one up.
You’re supposed to chill it, and then pour it directly upside-down into a tall glass without ice.
The can makes a very distinctive, bizarre “BZZ-ZOW!” sound when you open it. The bubbles are smaller, and there’s a head on the soda that lasted the entire time I drank it. I’d describe the taste as Pepsi-like, but not exactly like traditional Pepsi.
It was good, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again.
Sorry about the delay, didn’t get a chance to try it until this afternoon. I followed the instructions and turned the can upside-down over the glass letting it pour in, then I handed it over to roomie Carla (being a diabetic I couldn’t try it myself), and she said “Tastes like Pepsi, with a hint of another flavor (can’t tell what) but a lot creamier, somewhat like cream soda. I liked it. Is there more?”
I was hopeful that I could maybe try it, but it’s got over double the caffeine content. I might have gotten one and tried just a
swallow (sharing it with someone else who could drink the rest), but not with that much caffeine.