It is widely known that beer from a tap is greatly superior to beer from a can or bottle. Some beers, such as Boddington’s and Guinness, include a device within their cans and bottles designed to recreate the sublime sensation of taking that first sip of that perfect pour, when the beer is fresh and has a beautiful head of foam. Unfortunately, not all bottled and canned beers have this device inside them, and aficionados will say of those that even if they do it’s still just not the same.
Enter the Sonic Foamer. This device sends a pulse of ultrasonic sound through the glass of beer that has been placed on top of it. The result of this blast of imperceptible sound is the sudden and somewhat miraculous creation of a beautiful and aromatic head of foam.
The Sonic Foamer, not much bigger than a large-sized coaster, is made of molded plastic and requires six AA batteries. Its utilitarian but not unattractive design is compensated for by under-lighting from a small LED. This light can cycle among 8 different colors by hitting one of the two buttons on the unit (the Foamer is turned on using a small switch on its underside).
The device is finicky regarding the type of glass it requires, and this does somewhat limit its usefulness. This is not the result of poor design; physics simply limit the way sound can be effectively transmitted by the Foamer. The created pulse of sound travels from the device upward into the glass, meaning that glasses with stems (i.e., goblets or snifters used for such beers as saisons or barleywines), those with some type of cavity inside the base (such as an air bubble), or those with particularly thick bases will not work well with the Foamer. The same goes for glasses with a narrow base that widen toward the top, and those with a capacity larger than 20 ounces.
The foamer also requires 2 teaspoons of water to be placed into the shallow tray where the glass is placed to help conduct the vibrations, and this unfortunately does result in a slightly wet and drippy glass. Also, as stated within the Foamer’s own instruction manual, repeated use on the same glass of beer will result in its going flat. Unless you intend to foam your beer after every single sip, though, this will probably not be an issue.
The Sonic Foamer performs admirably despite its few rather minor flaws. If the instructions are followed – and you have the right type of beer – it will produce a beautiful foamy head that will recreate a nice draught pour. If you value the appearance and flavor of a freshly poured draught beer and can’t get to the bar, this will help to fill that need.