Two Tabs, One Beer. Japanese Studio Nendo Creates The 'Foam-Can'
by Rudy Sanchez on 05/08/2023 | 2 Minute Read
The stay-tab opening apparatus commonly found on aluminum cans today was patented by Reynolds Metals engineer Daniel F. Cudzik in 1975. Since then, there have been a few improvements to the overall design, like the can widget (aka the "Guinness widget") in the late 1980s and the “wide mouth” can design in the 1990s.
Japanese design studio nendo has developed a new can that solves a longstanding problem with canned beer; lack of proper head. The new design, dubbed the “foam-can,” incorporates two stay-tabs similar to conventional aluminum cans at different angles. The consumer opens the first tab, conveniently stamped with a numeral “1,” to create a narrow opening that doesn’t disrupt foam as much as a single-tabbed container. The can will mainly pour foamy beer. Once the foam has settled, the second tab, labeled “2” with a bigger opening, is engaged to pour mostly liquid into the glass. The end result is a glass of beer with an optimal amount of head.
According to nendo, the foam-can achieves a “golden ratio” of 7:3 liquid to foam. While Westerners would be horrified at having a pint consisting of over 40% foam, a thick layer of head is how Japanese beer is popularly served.
While foam-can creates an optimal—at least if you're in Japan—pour of beer, it’s unknown if any domestic beer maker will adopt the new design. It is more complicated, so likely more expensive. It would also require more effort and education for the user and likely wouldn't be well-received in export markets where consumers prefer a much smaller amount of head, even for a Japanese beer brand.
But who knows! If you can be in charge of your beer foam destiny, anything's possible.