The ground-breaking Guinness Nitrosurge, launched in 2021, is a dispense system, leveraging low-energy ultrasonic technology to replicate the iconic two-part pub pour – so more people can enjoy the unique Guinness stout at home.

Guinness have married technology and innovation to create something unique and providing a way of encouraging more at home sales. The pocket-sized device uses ultrasonic technology to create the iconic Guinness surge with perfectly formed nitrogen bubbles delivering smooth Guinness every time. The compact, reusable, pouring device effortlessly mounts and seals to the top of a 100% recyclable Guinness NitroSurge can.

Drawing on Guinness’ proud 264-year history of brewing brilliance, the Nitrosurge device has been created by a team of Guinness innovators, designers, and taste experts. The premium product offering enabled a higher price point, while the simplified canning process reduced costs. Following a UK launch, Guinness over-achieved predicted devise sales targets by over five times.

Guinness’s commitment to innovation has not gone unnoticed. Guinness was honoured with a Gold DBA Award for Nitrosurge, described as a ‘game changer’ in bringing the magic of the famous stout to more spaces, places and people.

Historically Guinness always had a bigger gap between its on-trade and off-trade sales than many of its competitors. The reason lies in its beautiful constraint (i.e. an essential element of a brand or business that limits its ability to extend itself or do other things)*.

For Guinness, the on-trade product is so specific, so wonderful and so unique, that the off-trade version struggles to replicate it. A pint of silky-smooth Guinness at a bar is more than a drink to those who love it. It is part of an experience. From the relative slowness of the two-stage pouring to the first mouthful, it is aesthetically and culturally a brand-equity-based interaction. This experience and on-trade context reflect and build the brand’s mental availability. So, creating innovation that better replicates the core product experience at home is a strategic imperative. Guinness has tried to recreate the surge effect before, with some, but limited effect. If this tech nails it, the commercial benefit could be significant.

There are other stouts, but only one Guinness… imagine the potential if this innovation replicates the bar product… at home. But caution. What if the brand strength is not just about product quality but about the magical experience of being served a pint of Guinness in a pub. What if Guinness at home can never feel like a pint out of home. Cultural analysts and semioticians are welcome to comment.

*For deeper understanding read Adam Morgan and Mark Barden’s excellent book: ‘A Beautiful Constraint’.