Okay, I’ll admit it. When I’m drinking a beer and there’s no hearty conversation going on either with the people I’m drinking with or with the bartender or the regulars hanging out at the bar, after each sip I will slowly turn the beer glass around to see if there might be an interesting ghostly or skeletal image on the side of the beer glass.

Kind of like this one, which I found a few years ago and marveled at.

I have found a few that, like those random patterns of clouds in the sky, ALMOST look like something worth capturing. But, looking at the photo of them later, they just didn’t capture that unique spirit of the little ghost that seems to be trapped in the beer glass with just the right “expression” on his face.

So, the other day, when Liz and I were talking about the artwork we wanted to have for the cover of our forthcoming co-authored book Spirits Untapped: Haunted Bars & Breweries (the proposal is currently sitting with my publisher for my other titles such as Haunted Hamilton, Creepy Capital, Tomes of Terror, Spooky Sudbury, Haunted Hospitals and Macabre Montreal – for anybody paying attention, you’ll notice that Spirits Untapped will break a long line of alliteration in my titles. Although, admittedly, there IS alliteration in the subtitle, so all is still right with my world), we were looking at ways in which we might be able to incorporate a glass of beer and a ghost or a spirit.

Some of our previous attempts at having some art created for us in this regard resulted in the following images.

They’re pretty decent, and we’ve used them in a few places, but we need something bolder and more dynamic.

In the midst of toying with creating some images that I thought might fit the bill . . . (a few images that I designed yesterday using a cool app called Photofox on my phone) . . .

. . . we came across a few articles about this amazing new machine called Beer Ripples. It is from a company that had already successfully produced a “latte art” machine. For the beer, they are using an edible malt-based ink to print high resolution images onto the foam of a beer.

You can read more about the machine on DigitalTrends, Munchies, Geek.com and Food & Wine.

The machine sells for $3000 USD plus an additional annual subscription of $1,500 (which includes enough edible malt-ink for 6,000 pints of beer) The price and annual subscription put me off my initial desire to say “we must have one of these for our next beer party or for our book launch!” but that doesn’t mean I won’t be looking for any nearby establishment that might have one of these and allow me to do a few custom jobs for a promotional photo shook for our forthcoming book. I’m sure they’d be able to do a job like that for considerably less money.

Here’s a video from the folks at Beer Ripples that demonstrate how it works!

We’re still pretty fascinated by what the folks at Ripples have been able to do with coffee and with beer, and we raise a toast (with a beer with a nice full head on it, of course), in their honor.

In the meantime, you might still find me, in an obsession perhaps similar to that of Captain Ahab, sitting at the bar of some local craft beer pub and searching longing for that “Moby-Dick” of a ghostly looking slick of beer foam on the side of my glass.

If you do see me sitting like that, call me Ishmael.