Should You Drink the New Guinness Nitro IPA? We Found Out.

Grant Marek/Thrillist

The new Guinness Nitro IPA is unfortunately not a forward-thinking collaboration with American Gladiators legend Nitro. It's just an IPA infused with nitrogen. In fact, I don't even think Guinness owns a tennis ball cannon.

How do we know? Well, because we met with Guinness last night to try the beer.


What is it?

Guinness claims it's "hop-forward" with the "qualities of a classic Guinness pint," which's achieved by the fact that they use 1) Irish barley malt, 2) the famous Guinness yeast strain, and 3) their signature nitrogenation, which infuses the tap beers with nitrogen and releases the gas in cans via their widget, which also gives you some super cool ghost mist (oooOOoOOOooOoooo) upon opening.

Back to the hop-forward thing: the beer uses five hops (yay?) but still only clocks in with 44 IBU, which is on the low end of the bitterness scale for American IPAs (generally in the 40-70 range), but, to be fair, is still right around where Lagunitas IPA and Brooklyn IPA sit.

Grant Marek/Thrillist

How does it taste?

Not like an IPA. But then again, it's a Nitro IPA with a low IBU, so I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to -- the nitrogen is supposed to balance out the profusion of hop flavors (and it does, dulling them considerably), and you're left with something that tastes kind of like a darker version of a Boddington's English Pale Ale.

Should you drink it?

Definitely. You should drink all beers, silly. Will you keep ordering it though? Probably a little less likely, because 1) zero American Gladiators were involved with the making of this beer (STEP UP YOUR GAME, GUINNESS), and 2) it doesn't really shout "I am an IPA!" at you. But if you like Boddington's, and want to look like an extremely Irish early adopter, give it a shot.

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Grant Marek is Thrillist's Senior Cities Director and was once mistaken for Prince Harry by two old ladies in a bar in Dublin. Chat American Gladiators with him on Twitter at @grant_marek.