Kirin's Soft-Serve Beer Tap: A Perfect Head

The Kirin Brewing Company in Japan has developed a new beer tap that turns beer into a frozen sorbet.

No, this isn't a beer-flavored ice cream, it's a machine that chills and freezes the head to 23 degrees Fahrenheit using the frozen lid to keep the underlying beer cold for up to 30 minutes, And it can be eaten like a sorbet, according to Beer Street Journal.

The process is known as "frozen agitation". Air is blown into the foam to fluff it, then flash chilled, and dispensed like soft-serve ice cream.

Kirin introduced this new addition to its Ichiban Shibori beer series, known as the Ichiban Shibori Frozen Draft, last March in Tokyo and plans a roll it out in 1,000 restaurants across Asia by the end of 2012.

If the new method of chilling beer is successful--which seems highly probable--then the U.S. could soon be blessed with the new tap. But with the frozen head taking up at least one-third of the glass, will any value in beer be lost? Most likely not, if people start digging the "beer sorbet" idea.

In America, a land where almost anything goes--including beer-flavored ice cream--it could surely be a nice novelty item.

"We want young consumers to enjoy drinking beer in a new way," said Kirin Brewery President Koichi Matsuzawa to the Beer Street Journal.

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