Chuck Hahn says Australians don’t like head on their beer. Hosting a dinner last year, the brewer behind Hahn, James Squire and Kosciuszko suggested the attitude comes from us generally being tightarses.
More head means less beer when you’re ordering at the pub. Anecdotally, it might also have something to do with the ribbing your mates will give you for a poorly poured pint.
As Hahn went on to explain, beer head isn’t actually something we should be afraid of. Depending on style of beer (and the source of your research) the generally rule of thumb appears to be at least a couple of fingers. A healthy layer of foam enhances the aroma and mouth feel and can be a sign of quality brewing and ingredients. Conversely a lack of head can indicate issues with the beer lines, cleanliness of the glass or carbonation problems. Most importantly, a thick white layer of foam also makes your photo look better on Instagram. #beerporn
So when the folks at Sonic Foamer asked us to review their product which gives you head from start to finish, we put it to the (road) test.
Using whatever “ultrasonic waves” are and two teaspoons of water, the Sonic Foamer allows you to recharge your glass, releasing a new layer of head at the push of a button. The instructions advise using cold beer, a glass with a thin base (so probably don’t use it with your Spiegelau IPA glass/sex toy) and to avoid looking directly at the LED light if you don’t want to damage your eyesight.
With a six pack of Mountain Goat’s Summer Ale cans and some batteries stolen from the TV remote, we gave it a go.
And… it worked. Quite well actually. Repeated use continued to create more head on the beer, and each time it was surprisingly refreshing, as though it has been newly poured. Expectations the process might flatten the beer also proved not to be a problem. And somehow we managed not to blind ourselves either.
So while it worked, would you actually use it? It’s not difficult to use, but it might be inconvenient to pull out and set up just for what I presume is a bit of a placebo effect of refreshment. And while it was actually kind of fun to play with, I found myself wondering if it would collect dust after the novelty wore off.
Unlike our last roadtest of the hop teabag, the Sonic Foamer actually works. If you really really love a frothy beer, then it could be for you. Otherwise for $US20 it’s probably not a bad stocking filler for a beer geek in the family. You can purchase it on Amazon here.