Is There A Ping Pong Ball In Guinness
Last modified: October 13, 2023
Before we dive right in, allow me to set the scene – we’ve all been there. We’ve just polished off an excellent game of table tennis, our hearts are pounding, our eyes sharp, and the first thing you think of? A pint of Guinness. Yet, you’ve heard rumours, rumours of a ping pong ball being found at the heart of every Guinness draft can. Could it be true? Let’s find out.
How is Guinness Made?
Many aspects go into the production of the dark, creamy goodness that we know as Guinness. Primarily, what makes this stout stand out is its unique fermenting process and ingredients.
Guinness mainly consists of water, barley, brewer’s yeast, and hops. The barley is crucial as it’s partly roasted to give Guinness its signature dark colour and one of a kind taste!
The Fermenting Process
It’s not just about the ingredients, but the process too. The process, which includes gristing, mashing, boiling, fermenting, maturing and recirculation, gives this brew its essence.
The Secret – Nitrogen
Now to one of Guinness’s best-kept secrets: nitrogen. In the 1950s, Guinness began using nitrogen, which changes the mouthfeel of the beer and provides the brew with a ‘creamy’ sensation.
What’s That in My Can of Guinness?
If you’ve ever opened a can of Guinness, you might have encountered a small surprise – a little ball, also known as a ‘widget,’ rolling around inside. Now, here’s the real connection to our beloved sport, table tennis.
The Guinness Widget
Patented in the late 1980s, this small plastic ball’s purpose is to replicate the draft beer experience at home. Guinness wanted to ensure that their home drinkers weren’t missing out on the pub-quality pour!
How the Widget Works
The widget is filled with nitrogen-infused beer. When the can is opened, the pressure inside drops, and a small amount of beer and nitrogen is forced out of the widget, rushing through the beer and creating a surge of bubbles which form a creamy head.
Ping Pong vs. Widget
No, it’s not that promoters for table tennis have partnered with Guinness! Although they look and feel the same, the widget in your can of Guinness is quite different from your average ping pong ball. The widget is an ingenious device created to enhance your Guinness-drinking experience.
The Legacy of Guinness and the Widget
The creation of the widget not only revolutionized canned beers but also catapulted Guinness into the books of history. It’s an exciting part of the stout’s legacy and its impact on brewing technologies.
Why Guinness Stands Out
Guinness carved out a niche for itself with its unconventional flavor profiles and the use of the widget, ensuring a great pouring experience. It’s no exaggeration to say that Guinness stands apart from the crowd.
The Impact of the Widget
While it may seem insignificant, the introduction of the widget and the decision to infuse beer with nitrogen was a game-changer in the brewing industry. Many other breweries now utilize similar technologies in their canned beers.
Keeping Tradition Alive
With a history dating back over 250 years, Guinness keeps pushing the envelope whilst staying firmly rooted in tradition. The unique blend of innovation and tradition truly sets the Guinness experience apart from the rest.
So next time you crack open a can of Guinness after a thrilling game of ping pong, and you hear that distinct rattle, remember – you’re not just hearing the echoes of a ping pong ball. It’s Guinness’ brilliant widget at work, as vital as the barley, hops, and yeast used to make the beer, which brings you the rich, smooth stout on your palate. Cheers!