The perfect amount of foam on a pint of beer

A perfect pint of Dark Star Hophead.

Of course there is no correct amount – it will vary from beer to beer, from region to region and from person to person – but it looks as if a beer we were served on Friday night was pretty close to perfect.

When we Tweet­ed this with the mes­sage ‘One for the Foam Police’ we were being delib­er­ate­ly vague.

What we meant was ‘This looks pret­ty good’ but want­ed to test a the­o­ry: we reck­on it is pos­si­ble for a spe­cif­ic indi­vid­ual pint to have both (a) too much head and (b) too lit­tle.

When we Tweet pic­tures of the beers we’re drink­ing, it’s quite com­mon for peo­ple to reply with either some­thing like ‘Stick a Flake in that?’ or ‘That looks in poor con­di­tion’.

In this case, though about 90% of poll respon­dents thought it looked fair­ly spot on, the remain­ing votes were split between too much and not enough, with a slight bias towards too much.

It would be inter­est­ing to have the abil­i­ty to drill down into the results a bit more. We sus­pect those who vot­ed ‘too much’ will be in Lon­don and the Home Coun­ties, while those who vot­ed ‘not enough’ will skew younger. But those are just guess­es, for now.

Anoth­er inter­est­ing thing was that some peo­ple want­ed to know more about the beer before form­ing a judge­ment:

Of course there’s a lot of cer­e­mo­ny and debate around lager, espe­cial­ly in the Czech Repub­lic, but we hadn’t con­sid­ered before that keg beer might be expect­ed to have more head than cask. Now it’s been raised, though, it does feel right.

Alto­geth­er, though, what this proves is that it’s a mat­ter of taste, as sub­jec­tive as any­thing else.

Is the the­atri­cal cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Fel­low­ship of the Ring too long, too short or about right? Would you like more tracks on Sgt Pepper’s Lone­ly Hearts Club Band, few­er, or about the same num­ber?

Well, sub­jec­tive except for in the (sort of) legal sense. There’s a gen­er­al accep­tance, rein­forced by mes­sages from indus­try bod­ies and Trad­ing Stan­dards, that says a pint should be at least 95% liq­uid, and no more than 5% foam.

We sus­pect our ‘about right’ pint on Fri­day might have failed this test, by a per­cent­age point or two, but in the moment, we real­ly did­n’t care.

One thought on “The perfect amount of foam on a pint of beer”

  1. 1.pint looks per­fect
    2.lord of the rings is too long (all of them)
    3.sgt pep­per is also per­fect (straw­ber­ry fields and pen­ny Lane also per­fect as just a dou­ble a side sin­gle)

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