It’s time to set the record straight about helium beer once and for all.
Beer fans are itching to hunt down this whale at any cost. Confused why they can’t find it in their local great beer store, I get emails about it all the time:
“Hey, where can I buy that helium beer?”
“Do you know if helium beer ships overseas?”
Guys — here’s the thing: helium beer isn’t real. It’s a myth. The Lochness Monster and that slimy thing from the Upside Down in Stranger Things are more real. In fact, it’s not even scientifically possible. Let me explain why.
Science Behind Why Helium Beer Isn’t Possible
Let’s start with the science. In an August 2015 article, CraftBeer.com’s Andy Sparhawk outlines three important points from Stone’s Rick Blankemeier:
- Helium is not soluble in water, therefore it’s not soluble in beer. You can’t carbonate beer with helium like you can with carbon dioxide or nitrogen.
- Adding liquid helium would be impossible as it turns from liquid to gas at -220°F. You’d end up freezing your beer.
- Even if you could somehow add helium to beer, it would cause gushing because (again) helium is not soluble in beer.
Bottom Line: Helium beer won’t ever exist under the laws of science — so why do we keep getting so many emails from beer lovers looking for it?
How Helium Beer Became a Phenomenon
Helium beer became all the rage starting April 1, 2014 (April 1 is going to become very important in this article), when Stone Brewing posted a news release introducing Cr(He)am Ale, a cream ale with helium, in 16-oz cans.
At first glance, the news release looks like any other news release. It even includes these suggested food pairings:
Appetizers: Pickled herring, Funyuns®, deep-fried mozzarella sticks, Blooming Onion Soups: Cheddar, Garlic & Stone Ruination IPA Soup, beef, chicken or pork bouillon Entrees: Vegetarian lasagna, chimichangas, chy Cheeses: Humboldt Fog, Kraft singles, Cheez Whiz® Desserts: Crème Brulee, Niederfranks vanilla ice cream, aged Hostess Twinkies, Heath Bar Cigars: Dutch Masters, Swisher Sweets, White Owl Peach, blunts.
Twinkie? Funyuns? Kraft singles? Who doesn’t want a beer that pairs with everything your childhood dreams are made of?!
But let’s talk about that article timestamp again: April 1 is April Fool’s Day — and Stone sure got you good. So good, that the article is still whipping up a frenzy nearly 3 years later. Helium beer is the April Fool’s Day joke that just won’t quit.
For the love of God, please help us set the record straight about helium beer: share this article; tell your friends who dig beer that helium beer isn’t real. Also, take an extra second to check out timestamps on articles — April 1 news should always make you question its authenticity.
Whatever you can do to help spread the word about the myth helium beer, know that you are doing a good deed.
Science thanks you. My inbox thanks you. Cheers!
This article originally appeared on craftbeer.com