How foam appearance influences the Italian Consumer's beer perception and preference

Gianluca Donadini, Maria Daria Fumi, Dante Marco De Faveri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The current study presents the results of a survey performed to investigate whether different patterns of foam and lacing affect consumer beer preference and the perception of beer characteristics. The impact of three different levels of foam (huge, medium and little) at pouring, and two lacing patterns (very laced to not laced) during consumption, was evaluated on a set of 26 attributes by a panel of Italian beer consumers. Overall, beers which delivered a medium level of foam at pouring were considered by Italian consumers as the best dispensed, the most liked for their visual appearance, the most attractive to consume and the most likely to be purchased. Cluster analysis determined four groups of consumers with different preference patterns for beer foam and expectations for sensory characteristics of the beer. It was found that 80% of consumers preferred a medium level of foam and no lacing, whereas 20% of consumers preferred a high level of foam and lacing. Furthermore, for nearly 40% of consumers, foam and lacing patterns generated expectations regarding beer sweetness, bitterness, fruitiness, perceived level of alcohol, effervescence and the thirst quenching character of the beer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Institute of Brewing
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Italy
  • beer,
  • consumers’ expectations
  • consumers’ preference
  • foam
  • head retention
  • lacing


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