Scientists are notoriously observant and eager to explore (and hopefully solve) the most complex problems. Princeton University’s finest turned their attention recently to explaining why walking with a filled-to-the-brim glass of water usually ended with dribbles down the side of the glass; while transporting that same glass containing beer filled to the very same level, thankfully did not spill. (I just figured it had to do with God loving beer drinkers, and wanting us to be happy.)

After much experimentation involving many glasses of boring sloshed water, and many safely-delivered glasses of cherished brew, scientists believe they have found the answer.

Their hypothesis was that foam on the surface of a liquid hinders movement. When testing resulted in a dangerously low supply of craft beer, they decided to substitute with layers of bubbles made by injecting air into a solution of water, glycerin and dish washing liquid.

In carefully controlled experiments, they observed over-filled containers of water as they were manipulated in ways that normally caused spills, such as steady side-to-side and back-and-forth motions. The water spilled. Next, using identical containers filled with their beer-like bubbly test solution, they mimicked those same motions, and observed that the bubble solution did not spill over the rim. Lastly, they again used the same glasses filled to the same capacity, but this time, filled with beer. Thankfully, the beer was delivered safely into the eager out-stretched hands of those taking part in the experiment.

Will their hypothesis that foam on top hinders sloshing only enhance the safe delivery of glasses of beer? No! In the future, transportation of hazardous liquids (such as oil) may be made safer by the addition of foam to reduce fluidity. God wants us to be happy AND safe!

ASK MR. BEERHEAD: RON VOELKER OF DELLS PRAIRIE, WI, ASKS: “Summer’s approaching. What do most people? consider their warm weather favorite – lager or ale?”

Lagers, cold fermented processed beverages, tend to be lighter and crisper, and make great camping companions. They are the first choice for many folks in the warmer months. Ales, fermented at warmer temperatures, have a higher alcohol content. These heavier brews are robust warm-me-ups, appreciated in the cold of the winter. But who is to say what “most people” prefer? The folks at your favorite Beer of the Month Club have never met an ale or a lager they didn’t like – no matter what time of year it may be!

About the Author
Tracie Burket
Follow Tracie