How To Pour Beer
This article represents a step by step process to perfectly pour a beer into a beer glass.
As any good bartender or pub owner can tell you, pouring beer can be a very subtle art. Especially for beers with a full, thick head, it’s absolutely critical to use the right pouring approach. With that in mind, here’s a quick five-step process to make sure you get the perfect pour every single time:
Step 1: Choose the right glass
It simply cannot be overstated how important it is to have the right glass when it’s time to pour a beer. If pouring a very light coloured, sparkling beer, you will want to use a long, slender glass such as a flute glass, for example. (And of course, this glass should be completely clean and free of any residue or dirt.)
Step 2: Hold your glass at a 45-degree angle
This is a little trick that many people might not realize – you can influence the colour, clarity and composition of your beer by altering the angle of the glass as you pour. You should start by tilting the glass to a 45-degree angle. As you pour out of a bottle or tap, you should target the middle of the slope of the glass. Don’t aim too high or too low.
Step 3: At the halfway point, shift to a 90-degree angle
As the glass becomes half-full (or half-empty, depending on your perspective), it’s time to bring the glass to a 90-degree angle. As you do so, make sure that you are pouring into the middle of the glass, and not along the sides of the glass. Doing so will ensure that you get the perfect foam head.
The head of a beer is critical for its overall presentation layer. And it’s about more than just looking good, too. A good, thick head can influence the types of aromatics that you will experience any time you sip from the glass or swirl the glass.
Step 4: Adjust the head of the beer to your liking
To increase the size of the head, gradually move your glass further and further away from the bottle as you pour. The greater is the distance between the bottle and glass, then the greater the depth of the head that you can create. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to have a head that is approximately 1-1½ inches thick.
Step 5 (optional): Provide a gentle swirl as you bring the beer down to a flat surface
You don’t want to swirl the beer too much, or it may interfere with the head. However, a very slight agitation of the liquid will unlock all the flavour and aromatics inside the beer. This will ensure that the person drinking the beer (especially if it’s you!) will enjoy the full range of taste and flavour.
With this easy-to-follow process, you can pour the perfect beer every time. The same process can be used whether you are pouring from a bottle or from a tap. The next you’re out at your favourite neighbourhood bar or pub, pay attention to all the little tricks of the trade that bartenders use to improve the presentation of your beer. A classic pour can transform your good beer experience into a great beer experience.