Enjoying beer from a tap versus a can offers contrasting experiences, with the foam playing an undeniable role in this distinction. Recognizing this, a Japanese design team has developed an ingenious approach to imitate the perfect pour of a tap beer using a simple modification to the beer can: an extra tab.
The team’s research highlights the importance of a proper foam head. It serves as a barrier between the beer and the ambient air, thereby preserving the beer’s aroma, flavor, and carbonation. Guinness has made strides in this area with its unique widget technology, which nitrogenates the beer, resulting in a creamier head, particularly relished by stout aficionados.
However, the focus of this innovation is on lagers, which hold a significant share of the beer market in Japan, represented by popular brands such as Asahi, Kirin, and Sapporo. The design team aimed to attain a 7:3 “golden” ratio of beer to foam, deemed ideal for lagers. To this end, they delved into the science of bubble formation, noting that bubbles originate both upon opening the beer and due to friction when pouring. Importantly, a narrower opening during the pour led to the creation of more bubbles.
Capitalizing on this observation, the team introduced a beer can with two numbered tabs. The first tab opens the can slightly, ensuring a foamy initial pour. After allowing the bubbles to settle, the second tab is pulled to fully open the can, thus completing the pour and achieving the desired ratio.
One of the exciting aspects of this innovation is that you can try it out without purchasing a specialized dual-tab can. It’s possible to mimic this process with a regular beer can by opening it minimally for the initial pour and then fully for the final pour. This allows beer lovers to enjoy an optimal pour while saving money.
In conclusion, the dual-tab beer can is a testament to the attention to detail and practical innovation in Japanese design. This simple yet impactful modification to the traditional beer can enhances the drinking experience by replicating the appeal of a tap pour, promising a more enjoyable beer-drinking experience for lager fans worldwide. A detailed demonstration of the concept is provided in the video below.