Viral videos often circulate on social media claiming to demonstrate the amusing effects of beer infused with helium, which predictably results in a higher-pitched voice that many would associate with inhaling helium from balloons.
But are these viral videos real?
Sadly, if you’re looking to get your hands on some helium-infused beer – which would undoubtedly be hilarious at parties – you’re going to be disappointed. Because it doesn’t exist.
The prank started in 2014, unsurprisingly as an April Fool’s Joke. In fact it appears that two different companies had the same idea for the same year. Both Samuel Adams and the Stone Brewing Company both uploaded videos on YouTube claiming to showcase their own versions of the voice altering beer.
The official Samuel Adams YouTube channel uploaded a video claiming to show the extra hoppy HeliYUM beer, while on the very same day the Stone Brewing Company uploaded a video apparently showcasing their crHEam Ale infused with Helium. Both videos showed their staff consuming the product before speaking in the archetypal helium imposed pitch.
Despite both videos surfacing on April 1st, many took the videos at face value, and many took to the Internet to ask where they could purchase such a beer. However, both companies subsequently revealed that their videos were nothing more than April Fool’s jokes.
Despite these disappointing revelations, a flurry of videos have appeared online that claim to show people drinking the fictional beer and the hilarious consequences that ensued. Of course all of these videos have been cleverly edited, but they have proved more than sufficient to keep this hoax alive throughout the years.
Most notably Alex and Ralk from the Die BierProbierer YouTube channel were instrumental in keeping the hoax going. They uploaded their own video a year later for April Fool’s 2015 (below) where they claimed to drink the HeliYUM Samuel Adams helium beer that Samuel Adams pranked the Internet with a year earlier. Their video (and their English subtitled video) accumulated 6 million views between them and are often found circulating social media to this day, amongst a number of other fake videos.
Alex and Ralf later updated the video description to (half) admit it was fake, noting the day (April Fool’s) that they had posted it. However their video was published by others elsewhere, removing it from its disclaimer.
So, while the videos are fake, is it even possible to make such a beer? Sadly, that leads to more disappointment. Experts agree that such a beer is nigh impossible. This is because helium – unlike carbon dioxide – is a particularly non-soluble gas – meaning it isn’t soluble in liquid. If you did manage to trap helium into a can with beer, it would make a quick exit as soon as the can was opened and most likely leave quite a mess! From CraftBeer.com –
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.
Sorry guys, there is no such thing as helium infused beer.