The Scientific Vocabulary of Beer Foam
|The foam, also known as head, that sits atop a correctly poured glass of golden (or amber or dark) beer. (Photo: Heineken International, Amsterdam.)|
When food-science researchers study beer, they have a well-defined vocabulary for the brew's trademark foam that sits atop the liquid. Scientifically, the formation of the beer's foamy head is called "foam-head retention" and the duration of the foam-head retention is known as "foam-collapse time." A beer's long-lasting head, considered to be a desirable characteristic of any brew, is called "foam-head stability." How the foam adheres ("foam adhesion") to the inside of the glass as the beer is consumed is called "lacing" or "cling," while the bursting of bubbles in the foam is called "bubble gushing." Source: S. Sohrabvandi, et al, "... Analysis of Physical ... Properties of Beer," International Journal of Food Properties, 13 (2010).
Vision factlet: After selected beer drinkers in the United States, Germany, England, and Japan were shown photographs of glasses of beer poured with different heads, most believed the beer with the best-looking foamy foam would "taste better" and reported the beer with the best-looking head appeared to look "colder." Source: "Bubbles best for beer lovers," University of California, Davis (website), 8 Jan 2001.
Holy collar factlet: An alternate name for a beer's head is collar, especially the head of a dark beer, such as a stout (a draught Guinness, for example), that yields a thick whitish head over a dark liquid that is reminiscent of a dark-clothed clergyman's white neck collar. Source: Gregg Smith and Carrie Getty, The Beer Drinker's Bible (Boulder CO, 1997).
India's Wild Elephants Adore Local Brew
In northeastern India, beer-drinking elephants are uninvited and dangerous visitors to beer-brewing villages.
Sir Walter's Tower of London Jailbird Ale
A famous English adventurer preferred ale to water while imprisoned in the Tower of London.
The Yankee Gyrocopter of Mexican Beer
A hard-drinking comedian starring in a pre-World War II Hollywood film drinks Mexican beer while piloting an odd flying machine.
Beer Battles Beefsteak Carcinogens
A team of scientists in Europe believe beer can aid in decreasing the risk of cancer in humans who eat steer and cow meat.
What Ben Franklin Never Said About Beer
An incorrect quotation about beer is attributed to an iconic 18th-century American depicted on a large denomination of United States' paper currency.
Jesus Christ and the Indian Beer Can
A Christian deity depicted as a beer drinker and cigarette smoker sparks outrage in a state in India.
Human Brain Enjoys Taste of Beer
Pharmacological research in the United States discovers pleasurable association between brain, mouth, and beer.
Brouhaha Over Ancient Beer-Offering Statue
Statue of an ancient Egyptian holding a list of afterlife offerings is a possible cash windfall for a city in England.
African Mosquitoes Prefer Beer Drinkers
In Africa, a certain species of female mosquitoes has a special affection for beer drinkers.