June 06, 2019
How to Pour a Proper Beer
Pouring a pint of beer: you've done it before, but did you do it properly? If the foam rocketed straight to the rim, leaving you with just half a glass of actual liquid, chances are your technique needs some work. Don't worry: we've got your back.
Pouring the perfect pint is all about minimizing agitation. The more your beer is tossed and turned around, the more CO2 will be coaxed out of it. That means foam, foam, and more foam. Typically, you only want 1 inch of foam head, which pouring pros achieve by mastering a few simple steps.
Here are 4 steps to minimizing agitation and pour the very best pint possible.
1. Rinse your glass.
We don't just mean you should pour into a clean glass. Nobody wants to drink from something with last night's barbecue sauce crusted on the rim. No -- this step applies even if your glass comes straight out of the dishwasher.
Have you noticed that most breweries have a water spout below their tap handles that they use to rinse every glass before they pour? There's a reason for that. Even clean glasses can have dust motes or other residue that agitates the beer. Plus, a quick rinse cools the glass, which means your brew stays cold longer.
2. Tilt your glass.
Where technique is crucial. If you pour straight into the glass, the beer tumbles straight to the bottom, landing hard and splashing around. Agitation City. CO2 bubbles out like wild dogs released from a kennel, and foam races straight to the top.
How do you avoid this outcome? Easy - tilt your glass 45º to the side and target your pour just below the rim. The smaller the distance your beer has to fall, the less aggressive its impact. Soft impact = less agitation = less foam.
The tilt applies to both tap handles and pours from cans/bottles. If you're pouring from a tap, take care not to touch your glass to the faucet. Let's not be spreadin' germs, hey?
3. Don't half-ass it.
If you're pouring from a tap, pull the handle all the way open and let it run until the glass is full. If you only pull it halfway open, the beer has to fight around a half-closed barrier that agitates it further. Likewise, the more times you open and close the tap handle, the more opportunities the inner barrier has to toss & turn the beer flowing out.
Don't be timid. Step right up to that tap handle and show it who's boss.
4. Get a foam-fighting faucet.
All nozzles are not created equal. If you have your own keezer, kegerator, or other tap system, consider investing in a faucet specifically designed to minimize agitation. These models use forward-sealing technology that does not stick or corrode over time, as well as a precision piston that minimizes micro-eddies in the liquid’s flow.
For a full tutorial on minimizing foam in your beer pours, check out the video below: