Champagne is sometimes called bubbly, for obvious reasons. But here's a corker: A half-pint of beer can have many more bubbles than a glass of champagne. In a 2021 study, a chemistry professor – who had already figured out that a flute of champagne holds about a million bubbles – decided to take a closer look at a foamy glass of beer. He found that a single glass of beer can contain up to two million bubbles.
Gérard Liger-Belair, of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France, explained that with beer being the most popular alcoholic drink in the world, and the foam being an important factor in taste, it seemed a good time to find out just how bubbly beer can be. "It seems pertinent to us to bring some more knowledge about bubble formation, bubble size and finally about the issue of the total number of bubbles likely to form in a glass of beer along the entire natural degassing process," he said.
The bubbles in beer are formed during the production process. When the components of beer are broken down, carbon dioxide is one of the things produced, so when it's poured – especially if it has become even more saturated with carbon-dioxide in a can or bottle – the gas is released as bubbles.
Bring on the beer:
- Beer drinkers around the world consume more than 50 billion gallons (189 billion liters) of it every year.
- Anheuser-Busch InBev in Belgium is the world's biggest beer maker, producing about 400 brands in 50 countries.
- The world's most popular style of beer is lager, which some estimates put at about 80 percent of all consumption.