Helium Beer: It’s Time to Set the Record Straight
It’s time to set the record straight about helium beer once and for all.
The helium beer video is an internet sensation again. The Facebook page It’s Gone Viral posted a new mashup of the old video. If you’ve never seen either, the video shows two guys drinking a beer, and their voices changing in the same way as if they’d sucked down helium.
The latest post is circling near 30 million Facebook video views.
Beer fans are itching to hunt down this whale at any cost. I get emails about it all the time. People ask me:
“Hey, where can I buy that helium beer?”
“Do you know if helium beer ships overseas?”
Even this week, my BFF from high school tagged me on Facebook asking where she could buy it. #HELP
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.
(VISIT: 2017’s Great American Beer Bars)
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 first became all the rage April 1, 2014 (April 1 is going to become very important as you read 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.
Then on March 31, 2015, Die BierProbierer posted a video on YouTube that’s still raking in the views. (It’s the same video this most recent Facebook video is based on.) If you’re keeping track at home, March 31 is just in time for April Fool’s Day 2015.
Bottom line: 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. (Like the time we “officially” made NE IPA a beer style)
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!
Editor’s Note: This article was updated June 9, 2017, to reflect the latest viral comeback of the helium beer video.