Firestone Walker Releases Nitro Merlin Milk Stout In 12 Ounce Cans

A pour from the Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout 12 ounce can. (image courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Co.)
A pour from the Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout 12 ounce can. (image courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Co.)

Since Guinness put its widget in its Draught Guinness back in 1989 the beer world has been refining this process. Now Firestone Walker Brewing has provided a different way to deliver a nitrogen-pressurized pour to its once draft only beer with Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in convenient 12 ounce cans.

Firestone Walker has gone a different route than using a widget to deliver the fresh surge pour that has been associated with Guinness for nearly 30 years.

“Our task was to create cans that perfectly replicate the draft experience of nitro Merlin Milk Stout, from the beautiful foam to the smooth, creamy mouthfeel,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson in a statement. “After exploring all of our options, we settled on a widget-free canning technology that absolutely nails it.”

To properly enjoy the new Nitro Merlin Milk Stout it is best to pour the beer into a glass to experience all of the beauty. It’s easy to learn by following the instructions on mastering the surge pour that are printed on the 12-ounce cans. This surge pour provides the cascading effect that any fan of Guinness clearly knows and enjoys.

According to Brynildson, “The surge pour is easy to master, and it gives you that beautiful draft nitro presentation right out of the can. The result is absolute art in a glass.”

Unlike Draught Guinness and a few other canned nitro beers, Firestone Walker is taking a different approach than using a widget to deliver this surge pour.

“We looked at widgets, but couldn’t find a way to use them without exceeding our specs for total dissolved oxygen in the beer, which ultimately affects freshness and shelf life,” Brynildson said in a statement. “So we had to look elsewhere.”

So how does Firestone deliver this pour? The brewery’s canning line is fitted with a liquid nitrogen drip machine. During the filling process a drop of liquid nitrogen is released into the can that immediately flashes off into nitrogen gas. As the can is filled and sealed, a portion of the gas fills the head space while the remainder remains suspended in solution—only to be released when the can is cracked by the beer drinker.

“It took a lot of work to dial in everything on the canning line, but we are really happy with the result,” Brynildson stated.

Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout and Brown Butter Cookies. (photo courtesy of Nick Gingold)
Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout and Brown Butter Cookies. (photo courtesy of Nick Gingold)

Enough with the science and engineering behind this new nitro can, what we are more excited for is the upcoming promotions for the launch of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout. As the Paso Robles brewery did with the draft launch of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout, it will once again be offering its Milk & Cookies promotion.

This promotion pairs the beer with cookies provided by Brown Butter Cookie Company. If you have never had these cookies you are definitely missing out. The company’s signature shortbread cookies are made with browned butter, brown sugar and vanilla with a touch of sea salt.

In addition to being offered during on-premise events, this pairing is now also available via in-store rebate.

“Brown Butter Cookie Company is a hometown favorite created by two sisters here on the Central Coast,” Brynildson said in a statement. “This is a pairing of local flavors that taste awesome together, so it’s worth seeking out.” And from our past experience we whole heartily agree!

Brown Butter Cookie Company store in downtown Paso Robles, California.
Brown Butter Cookie Company store in downtown Paso Robles, California.

Nitro Merlin Milk Stout in six packs (12-ounce cans) begins rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets starting the week of January 8, 2018.

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