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St. Patrick’s Day Is A Gas

St. Patrick’s Day is a good day for the gas industry. Across the world, massive amounts of CO2 and nitrogen will be consumed as thirsty citizens celebrate the day. According to National Geographic, more than 4.2 billion pints of beer will be consumed on this single day—that’s about 1 percent of the annual consumption total.

Just how much gas will be consumed? Different beers have different amounts of CO2. Brewers speak in terms of volumes of CO2, where 1 volume of CO2 is the equivalent of 1 gallon of CO2 at 1 atmosphere in 1 gallon of fluid. The typical beer has anywhere from 1½ volumes CO2 for a typical British-style ale to up to 5 volumes for a wheat beer. So if we take 4.2 billion pints of beer on St. Patrick’s Day…that’s about 528 million gallons of beer—considering an average of 2.5 volumes of CO2…that’s more than 1.3 billion volumes of CO2—in other words, a lot of gas. (If you are interested in converting this to other measurements, the previous link contains some useful calculations).

Of course, not all of the gas consumed is carbon dioxide. Nitrogen makes up a large part of the gas mix used in beers like Guinness. (Something tells me that nitrogen use is somewhat higher than normal on St. Patrick’s Day.) How many pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day? See for yourself:

(Source: guysgab.com)

13 million pints, enough to fill the 60% of the Empire State Building. That’s a lot of nitrogen. Believe it or not, Guinness has a connection to the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. As I wrote about last St. Patrick’s Day, GAWDA member McDantim was responsible for developing a custom gas blender for Guinness & Co. back in 1986.

When it comes to beverage gases, do you see an increase in sales around St. Patrick’s Day? How do you prepare for the addtional demand?

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