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Guinness beer
Photo: Edans on Flickr

If you’ve ever wondered what that little plastic piece floating around in your Guinness bottle is, then look no further! We’re here to give you the DL on these little wonderful creations. If you’ve never noticed that little plastic piece floating around in your Guinness bottle, then you aren’t giving Guinness your full, undivided attention (shame on you).

Known as a widget, this little plastic piece is what helps the beer maintain its flavor down to the last drop. The key is in the nitrogen, packed into each plastic piece before it’s placed in the bottle. This helps the beer keep its carbonation and gives it a creamy top, or head. Tilt the bottle, replenish the foam. Just like you got it from the tap.

What’s more, this bottle’s widget has wings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fly, it just kind of floats there. Strategically placed, the wings keep the widget from leaving the bottle, eliminating (or at least lessening) the potential choking hazard. For those of you who enjoy canned Guinness, your widgets will be shaped like ping pong balls. Don’t get too attached, though, these long-time loyal widgets may be getting the boot for a beer can fiber that will do the same job for half the price. One widget may not be costly, but count in millions of distributed brews, which can really add up. Outsourcing, man.

So put down your pint glass, if only briefly, and check out the bottle while the widgets last.

A widget for your thoughts! Do you think there is a difference between Guinness from the bottle and Guinness from the tap? Let us know in the comments.