A splash of salt. A grain of rice. The perfect pour. All of these methods are entirely capable of foaming a beer on their own. But Norm Architects has another idea called the Beer Foamer, for Menu. It’s an elegant, battery operated, copper-plated mixer that takes a few tablespoons of beer and whips them up into foamy perfection.
At $55, it’s true that the Beer Foamer is by all practical means a superfluous device that, from what we can tell, is technically a milk frother in a nicer package. But the rituals around the experience of alcohol are largely defined by the superfluous. Do we need to decant table wine in a crystal container when swishing the liquid around in our glass works just as well? Do we need specialized spoons when any old piece of tableware would stir just as effectively?
Do we need to drink alcohol at all? (Hush!)
What the Beer Foamer lacks in essentialness it makes up for in what it adds to the drinking experience. While beer is in a renaissance, and the craft of brewing beer has been elevated of late, even the finest beer is still just poured from a bottle, or sprayed from a tap into a glass.
The foamer brings an element of theater lacking in the classic presentation of beer, while offering bartenders a relatively simple means to standardize the presentation of a brew’s foamy ceiling, or turning your favorite IPA into an egg-white-like topper for any mixologist-approved cocktail in existence.
Granted, this element of theater is just the sort of thing that will drive a casual beer drinker insane. And that’s fine. They’ll always have convenient, cold-activated cans.