Beer Bubbles can be the Enemy

Never, ever – EVER – drink beer from a bottle or a can! According to a self-proclaimed top “beer sommelier, we should only drink beer from a glass.

Sounds a little snobbish, right? That’s what I thought until I heard the reason, then it made some sense. Remember though, that for anything to make sense, the recipient (listener or reader) must first have some sense themselves. And not all that many people have much sense, especially common sense, which is why so many people wander around with a blank, lost look on their faces.

And now, back to the explanation.

Have you ever felt ‘bloated’ after drinking beer? Then I’ll bet you’re drinking it from a bottle or a can. You see, beer is carbonated, and that carbonation needs to be released. Picture the foam your beer gets when it’s poured into a glass. You know why that happens? Because pouring beer into a glass breaks out and releases the carbonation creating a good head of foam.

Now, if that carbonation isn’t released before it hits your belly, it’s going to release when it gets there and foam up. And each time food slides down your throat and lands in that carbonated beer it’ll expand and foam even more making you bloated and uncomfortable. There are two and a half bottles of carbonation in each beer – it’s a good thing that carbonation is CO2 and not helium.

Bubbles in beer, good. Bubbles in belly, bad.

Things about carbonation that you probably never wondered about.

How’d that carbonation get in your beer? It’s produced during fermentation. The level of carbonation requires beer to be sold cold because cold beer can hold more dissolved gas.

These bubbles start at the bottom of the glass, and as they break off, they expand because other bubbles attach to them and they accelerate. Luckily, most beer glasses are only 6-8″ tall controlling the speed of the bubble. If, say, a beer glass was 300′ tall (100 yards for those of you from Texas where most size comparisons are made utilizing the dimensions of a football field) these bubbles would probably gain so much speed that they’d launch themselves into orbit. I think some high school kids in West Virginia tried this once and for weeks all these beer bubbles were circling the earth. Fortunately, they continued expanding and eventually burst.

These carbonated bubbles will also show if your glass is clean. Bubbles will attach to rougher parts of the glass surface. Food and grime create such surfaces, so if you have a lot of bubbles on the side of the glass, they’re telling you the bartender did a lousy job washing it. Cheers.

Is head good or bad…on a beer?

It’s good! It causes a release of the beer’s aromatics (smells) and looks cool. The smell of the beer and the flavor is carried up by the bubbles and right into your olfactory receptors and with each swig remind you how good that beer tastes.

If your glass of beer doesn’t have the right amount of foam, it’s not really a beer. Come on, it can’t be – it’s gotta look the part. But worse, no foam on the beer means those bubbles of carbonation are going to mess with your stomach. Hello, bloating.

What about drinking from a Red Solo Cup?

I don’t know if it’s as good as drinking from a glass made of glass. It could be. And replacing them is a lot cheaper than having to replace broken glasses after each party. Plus, the red cup does say, “hey, there, we’ve got beer here, and we’re cool.” A glass can’t say that.

Toby Keith says,
“Now a red solo cup is the best receptacle,
For barbecues, tailgates, fairs, and festivals.
And you sir do not have a pair of testicles,
If you prefer drinking from glass.”

He seems like someone who knows his beer and his cups, so I’m siding with Toby on this one. I think you should too.


What have we learned? Let those bubbles rise and explode before they get in your stomach and expand.

Your Favorite Beverage Store

Just imagine if your favorite store had a mobile app that would allow you to browse their beer inventory and place your order. And what if they also send you announcements of new beer arrivals. They could do this if they had their own app through BOTTLECAPPS. If your store isn’t using BOTTLECAPPS, tell them they should. If your store has it, you should download and use it.

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