I am not a beer fan.
Suffice it to say, I attended one too many unsavory college parties at which beer was treated with only slightly more reverence than the real estate in which the event took place (those sticky frat floors...). The entire four-year saga was enough to leave a beer-tinged taste in my mouth. And not a good one.
The only time I've even remotely enjoyed beer was during a trip to London — sampling different types at cozy pubs across the city — straight from the tap. (Though whether it was the ambience of the venue or the actual beer that affected the taste so strongly, I admittedly can't confirm).
This is all to say that, when I heard of the new invention from Fizzic's — a device called "Waytap" with the ability to transform beer into something more, well, palatable, for those who might not otherwise be inclined to indulge, I was intrigued.
Could a machine really convert the taste of bottled/canned beer into something I would sip for enjoyment's sake? And how?
Well, as the headline to this article might suggest, it was time to find out.
After sitting myself down in front of the new machine, which I might note resembles a hybrid between R2-D2 and a fancy whipped cream dispenser, I placed the can inside the canister, and followed the rather intuitive steps of tugging on the protruding handle to dispense the beer from the small spout at the front of the machine.
Immediately, I could discern a difference.
The bubbles, which when the beer was poured in its standard fashion, were quite large, inconsistent, and spaced out, were now tiny, uniform, and tightly packed together.
It turns out that, within the Waytap machine, oscillating sound waves actually shape the bubbles — revealing the key to the taste difference it claims to produce. The taste of beer is most meaningfully impacted by the head, or the foam that sits at the top of the glass of beer, so this re-shaping entirely alters the taste to mirror a flavor that falls closer to what the original brewer intended.
But what of those claims? I'd seen the visual difference, but was there anything to them, taste-wise?
Picking up the control beer sample that I'd poured to pit against the transformed version, I took a sip. Slightly bitter, not terribly coarse, but certainly not smooth. I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it, so I turned to the glass poured from the Waytap machine.
From the first sip, I could tell that the consistency had changed. A creamier head prefaced a slightly smoother, less bitter beer — more balanced overall. In fact, the muted smoothness of this revised version removed the twinge that accompanied the original sip, making the glass noticeably easier to drink. *Almost* as easy as those pub beers across the pond.
After doing a bit of digging into this phenomenon, I discovered that women actually harbor stronger taste buds than men, which often makes beer taste more poignant to them. This machine, by softening the taste by adjusting the size of the bubbles, could potentially transform non beer-lievers into more avid fans, saving contentious relationships everywhere.
If nothing else, it's an ideal kitchen accessory to have around when seeking to blend in more seamlessly with those friends of yours who left college largely unscathed. Or, of course, if you're looking for ways to bring the bar back home with you as the weather becomes increasingly wintery (read: miserable).
Waytap by Fizzics is currently sold on Kickstarter.