Scientists may have finally solved a problem that has plagued beer drinkers for ages: Insufficient foam resiliency.
As any beer drinker can tell you, a tall glass of lager without a white, foamy head on top just doesn't look right. And even if you start out with one, it can dissipate fast. And that's just sad.
Now, microbiologists have identified the specific gene in yeast responsible for a beer's head and they say this discovery can lead to stronger, longer lasting, more aesthetically pleasing foam on your favorite brews.
Tom Villa, the chair of microbiology at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, says something called the Carlsbergensis foaming gene, or CFG1, is responsible for the white stuff at the top of your mug. As Villa and his colleagues write in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the gene resides in the yeasts used to ferment beer and it produces a protein that binds to the drink's CO2 bubbles, preventing them from escaping from the glass too quickly.
"The bubbles from the CO2 have to stay as long as possible," Villa says. "The longer they stay, the better the beer, as you know."