Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer—and another one!

-Irish toast

Nitrogenated Irish IPA: Guinness pint
  • Nitrogenated Irish IPA: Guinness pint

Think Irish beers and the first image to pop into your brain is a pitch black proper pint of Guinness Draught Stout with that silky tan head that goes down velvety smooth thanks to being served on nitro. Even the cans and bottles have “widgets” to give the beer it’s tiny nitrogen bubbles which is why nitrogenating a beer makes it creamier than carbonating it does. It does wonders for dry Irish stout.

But what would nitrogenation do for IPA?

It’s been done before, but not on the level that we’re about to be introduced to, and again, it comes from the heart of Dublin. Guinness Nitro IPA is about to hit our market. Along with it, our own mini Irish empire, Kells, turns three, and to commemorate the occasion of their toddler-aged brewery adding in-house brewing to the 25-year-old Irish pub with four locations from Seattle to San Francisco, Kells is introducing their beers in bottles. Their motto is “Irish Roots, Oregon Brewed.”

Carbonated Irish IPA label: Kells IPA
  • Carbonated Irish IPA label: Kells IPA

The celebration takes place September 19 at Kells Brew Pub (210 NW 21st Ave.) from noon to midnight. It will feature $3 pints but the three getting the bottle treatment are the flagships: Kells Irish Red, Kells Irish Lager, and Kells IPA. Owner Gerard McAleese and his son, lead brewer and pub manager Garrett McAleese, will raise a toast at 7 pm.

Reached for comment about going head to head with Guinness, a veritable staple at Kells Old Town pub, Garrett said, “Guinness is still one of our best selling beers, I think 25 years of Kells has ingrained it into people heads.”

Almost a year ago, Kells Brewing introduced an Irish Stout on nitro.

Continued Garrett, “Kells Irish Stout is slowly climbing... We have had other beers on nitro but only Kells stout on that tap... Eventually we will can the stout but there is a lot more into the packing so we are starting with bottles.”

Guinness Stout or Kells’ version? Kells’ Portland-brewed IPA or Guinness’s? We can’t wait to see how this plays out when they’re all available in two weeks. Or next St. Patrick’s Day.