Unless you're a beer connoisseur, you're probably not familiar with the term 'beer lacing.' What is beer lacing? Is it a good thing?
You've come to the right place to learn all about this new term!
In order to properly explain it, we need to define another key term - foam head.
What causes beer lacing?
Let's start with the foam head. When you pour beer into a glass, the white foamy on top of the actual liquid is called the 'foam head'. Beer lacing, or more simply 'lacing', is the residue left over from the foam head as you drink. Let's assume your glass of beer was full to the brim, so with each sip, the foam head will move lower and lower down the glass. This causes a bit of the foam residue to stick to the glass, causing lacing. You can compare beer lacing to 'legs' when talking about wine. Beer doesn't have legs, but instead it has lacing.
What factors influence the lacing in beer?
There are two main factors that contribute to beer lacing. These are: the type of beer you're drinking and how clean your glass that you're drinking from is.
Type of beer
The thicker your beer is, the more impressive your beer head will be, resulting in better lacing. Think about it, if your beer head is thicker, it has a better chance to really stick on the sides of your glass and leave a good residue. The most well known beer for lacing is Guinness. The white foam from this thick, dark beer leaves a nice mark along the sides of your glass as you sip it.
How clean your glass is
Believe it or not, having a very clean glass can result in better lacing. A glass that's been thoroughly cleaned, rinsed, and dried means that there is no leftover residue or grease on the glass. This will allow the head to stick to the glass better and give you a really nice lacing experience. Grease, lipstick, oils, detergents, and chapstick need to be completely removed from the glass in order to allow your beer to properly lace. After washing, it's best to let the glass air dry, since even the small fibers in towels can effect how your beer laces.
Is lacing in beer good?
The quality of beer doesn't have a direct influence in lacing. It all comes down to how thick the beer is and how clean your glass is. So, if your beer isn't lacing, it's no cause for worry - unless you're sure it should be, like if you're drinking a Guinness. In that case, you should make sure you're drinking from a clean glass!
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