At first pour, the Mojo IPA at The Lackman looks like a pint of foam. But after a moment the foam cascades, as beer aficionados say, to the top like a biblical pillar of fire. That effect—most often seen in a draft Guinness—is the result of a nitrogen pour. While most keg beers are pressurized with carbon dioxide, a nitrogen pour injects nitrogen into the beer between the keg and the tap. The smaller nitrogen bubbles impart a much smoother, almost milky, taste: Thicker beers can become creamy delicacies, and pale ales or IPAs can become more palatable to those who don’t like hops (and more interesting to those who do). A growing number of bars—such as The Lackman, which recently opened in OTR—maintain a nitrogen line with pale ales, porters, and IPAs cycling through on a regular basis. Try Rock Bottom Brewery, Dutch’s Bar & Bottle Shop, Nicholson’s Tavern & Pub, Dilly Café, and the Pub at Rookwood Mews for a taste. Beer snobs take heed—nitrogen won’t make every beer better. But when it works, it’s something to admire. And savor.
1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
(513) 381-0741, www.lackmanbar.com
Originally published in the December 2010 issue.