Right Brain Brewery has become the first brewer to commercialize a hydrogen-infused beer.
The prospect of infusing beer with hydrogen was too appealing for Right Brain owner and creator Russell Springsteen to pass up. Unruly Brewing in Muskegon, Michigan, has also begun to experiment with putting hydrogen into a beverage. The brewery debuted HyJacked, a hydrogen-infused hard apple cider, in July.
Both Right Brain and Unruly were able to bring these products to market thanks to a collaboration with HyVIDA Brands, a Muskegon-based maker of hydrogen-infused sparkling waters sold at Meijer and Family Fare. Along with its own beverages, HyVIDA has developed a new business division called HyInfused, which is committed to providing clients with the ability to infuse hydrogen into all types of beverages.
Following the success of Right Brain and Unruly, HyVIDA Brands President and CEO Rick Smith stated that his company is working through a pipeline of approximately 50 beverage makers from across the country who are interested in using this method to bring a newfound smoothness to beverages while easing the sting and bloat of carbonation.
Right Brain employed hydrogen to infuse three of its brands, CEO Stout, Northern Hawk Owl, and Who Goes There, which it sold in four-pack cans. Springsteen said the hydrogen dose improved all three of his beers, smoothing out Who Goes There, a sour beer, and bringing out the coffee flavor in the brewery’s flagship CEO Stout.
HyInfused, on the other hand, has developed a dosing machine with the assistance of West Olive-based Olive Engineering Company, for which it recently secured a patent. The machine may be installed on practically any standard canning line without affecting the existing operation.
This has prompted Smith to hold negotiations with companies such as Cedar Springs-based Microcanner and Grand Rapids-based Oktober about offering this hydrogen infusion option to their clients as a potential value add.
While HyVIDA consistently touts a variety of potential health benefits available through its sparkling waters, alcoholic beverage producers will almost certainly have to take a different approach due to tight federal regulations prohibiting the advertising of health claims in connection with alcohol. Advertising the ways in which hydrogen influences the taste and flavor of alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, would be permissible.
HyInfused’s goal is to have 100 hydrogen-infused beverages available by 2022.