Food and drink is something that is dear to our hearts. Aside from the fact that we eat and drink for a very primal purpose, we often partake in the activity without much thought. When we taste something nice, we merely luxuriate in the enjoyment. Hardly do we go “ah well the Chef sautéed this dish for 2 minutes and not 3 minutes and that’s why the meat is still tender”. It’s the same case for drinks.
Recently I was invited by Heineken and Iris Nation to learn about the importance of the foam head that comes with the beer. The event was held at The Exchange in Shenton Way, and no it’s not the Stock Exchange. I’ll be the 1st to admit that prior to this event, I knew nuts about it.
The foam is so important in a beer that Heineken has appointed draught masters who have undergone intensive training sessions all the way in Amsterdam. They will be like “ambassadors” and only 8 were selected from all over the world to participate in the programme. Singapore has one such Draught Master Frank Yu, who kindly taught us how to obtain the perfect pour.
Frank Yu demonstrating how to obtain the perfect brew
Why is the beer head/foam so important?
Apart from aesthetic appeal, having too much foam obviously means you are getting less of the golden brew. Having too little foam may mean that your drink is too bubbly. The foam is basically CO2 escaping from the beer.
There are several steps involved in getting just the right amount of foam. Obviously, the way in which the beer is poured makes the most difference. However, attributes such as the shape of the glass, the temperature of the glass and even the detergent used to wash the glass can add to the difference.
This is actually the wrong type of glass to use it seems.
This is more or less the correct angle in which to hold the glass while dispensing the beer
This is a VERY NASTY glass of beer. Too much foam has been released from the beer, which means your beer will taste rather flat. Make sure the bartender dispensing your beer doesn’t pull a fast one on you by letting this beer sit, and then topping it up with more beer.
That’s me giving the glass a rinse with ice cold water. Beer tastes best when it is icy cold, and it just won’t do to have a room temperature glass imparting its heat into the beer.
Me with the beer that I tapped. Make sure your beer level stops on the arms of the red star, with the foam above. Perfect, aka the Heineken Star Serve.