Is your beer glass laced? It probably should be.
Laced with what, you ask? Lacing refers to the visible layers and rings of beer foam that remain stuck to the inside of your glass as you drink the beer. It’s the beer equivalent of tree rings; in this case showing an historical reference to each sip of beer you took. For beer enthusiasts this is a very welcome and pleasant site since it represents positive attributes of the full beer drinking experience.
One positive aspect of lacing is it’s an indicator that the glass itself is “beer-clean”, meaning the glass has been washed, dried and handled properly to eliminate soapy, oily and linty residue on the inside walls. Individually and combined these residues can hinder the beer from foaming up properly to a nice head. Yes, a well-poured beer should have a 1” head at the top; the head being a visual sign that the beer has been awakened by the active carbonation and the aromas are being released. Remember, what we taste originates from approximately 80% of what we smell, so when you’re tasting beer it’s good to have those aromas activated.
In a beer clean-glass, the edges of the foamy head will stick to the glass leaving a wonderful formation that appears and is described as lace. A lacy glass is a very good thing!