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Former Michigan Brew Scientist Says We Need Longer-Lasting Head

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The majority of brew connoisseurs and wild-eyed drunkards never stop to consider the science behind the head they get with beer. No, we are not talking about the kind of head you might get while sucking down massive amounts of cheap draft beer in the back alley of a local dive bar, but the head that gives your beer its sudsy disposition.

Believe it or not, there is a distinct science that goes into developing the foam in beer. Brewers, or suds scientists experiment and dissect their foam in an attempt to make their beer’s foam last as long as possible. “Brewers work really hard to have good foam,” said Professor Karl Siebert, who served for nearly 20 year as the Director of Research for Detroit’s Stroh Brewing Company.

Siebert says that a beer like Guinness is a perfect example of the importance of long-lasting head. “The lore is that if you get a freshly served Guinness and you draw a little face in the foam, by the time you finish the beer the face should still be there,” he said. “Almost true!”

However, the quality of your beer’s foam does not have anything to do with alcohol content. Siebert says that in his research, he has discovered the best foam quality in beer with medium level alcohol content and lower quality in beers with either a low or a high ABV.

Interestingly, Siebert’s work is consistent with other research that finds long-lasting head is always better…as long as teeth aren’t involved, of course.

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