Craft beer’s rising popularity was always sure to give rise to fun gadgets to go along with it, and California Creations’ Sonic Foamer is one of these. Resembling a hot plate, it sends ultrasonic vibrations into your beer, activating carbonation and creating an attractive, consistent head. But does it really make beer taste better, as the box claims it does?
The Sonic Foamer is easy to use. Two teaspoons of water go on the plate, giving you complete coverage on the bottom of your glass for vibration transmission. Shaker pint glasses with thin bottoms yield the best results. Pour your beer with as little head as possible, put it on the plate, press the button, and voilà, thick, luxurious head rises right in front of you!
The effect is absolutely noticeable in both mouthfeel and taste. Essentially, what you get is a "nitro" pour of your favorite beer (think draught Guinness). The mouthfeel becomes nice and thick, silky, and creamy. However, whether or not the taste is improved depends on the style of beer. With a black ale (such as Two Roads' Route of All Evil), the Foamer brought delicious coffee and chocolate notes to the forefront, the creamy mouthfeel complementing the beer perfectly. On the other hand, when tested with Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale (a fresh hop IPA), the creaminess completely obscured the hop flavors, taking away the best part of that beer. Not an improvement.
In summary, if you’re a fan of nitrogen-infused beers, look into getting a Sonic Foamer. You won’t be disappointed. The mouthfeel and taste are there, not to mention that it’s just fun to play with! Just be aware that it’s not optimal for every kind of beer, specifically those of the hoppy variety.