Berkshire Brewing Company released this video as an April Fool’s Day joke and were inundated with requests for the helium beer. Now July, it’s going viral again. Why? And is helium beer possible? Find out.
The helium beer ad is now going viral in Europe after the popular YouTube channel Die BierProbierer released this short version of their Helium Beer review on July 9, in which they claim they got their hands on a bottle:
The clip catapulted to more than 407,000 views in just three weeks. As a result, Berkshire Brewing has seen a huge resurgence in requests for the helium beer from all over the world, forcing them to again explain that the video was all just an April Fool’s Day joke.
The kicker is that this time around, they’ve found themselves having to now also explain what April Fool’s Day even is, according to Berkshire Brewing founder Gary Bogoff’s statement to masslive.com.
A helium beer 3-pack
Berkshire actually wasn’t the first brewer to promote a helium beer. On April 1, 2014, Sam Adams posted this video, introducing HeliYum as a perfect blend of noble hops with noble gasses:
On the same day that Sam Adams released HeliYum, Stone Brewing Company announced their own April Fool’s helium beer, Cr(He)am Ale with Helium, which also resulted in people asking how to get their hands on it:
Can you make helium beer?
Sorry to pop your helium bubble people, but helium beer cannot exist. Here’s why:
The vast majority of beers are made with carbon dioxide (and a few leverage nitrogen), which when dissolved in the water, releases slowly and creates the carbonation in the beer.
Helium is one of the least water soluble gases, about 700 times less soluble than carbon dioxide. Since helium cannot dissolve easily, it cannot create the slow fizz needed for the beer.
Even if it were pumped into the can of beer, the undissolved helium would explode out of it once the tab was popped due to the extreme pressure, taking most of the beer out with it. You’d want to be pretty far away from that toast.
Helium beer voice
While the squeaky voices in the helium beer gags are the obvious joke, let’s pretend for a moment that helium beer could exist. Would it alter your voice like in the videos?
We won’t get into all the scientific mumbo-jumbo (you can read that here), but here’s the gist:
When you speak, air travels up from your lungs to the vocal folds, which vibrate to create the different sounds that we use to speak. Sound travels through helium nearly three times faster than it does through air. When you fill your vocal tract with helium, the harmonic frequencies increase significantly, amplifying the high-pitched components of your voice and giving you the squeaky voice. (The exact opposite happens with gases that are heavier than air. Xenon is a heavy gas that would produce a very deep, low pitch voice if inhaled. But don’t ever inhale helium or xenon, it’s dangerous.)
So even if you could drink helium beer, it would go down your esophagus with the liquid, not into your lungs where it would need to be drawn up to alter the sounds in your vocal tract. In short, drinking helium beer would have absolutely no affect on your voice.
Sorry folks! Now you know.
Sources: YouTube, Facebook