How To Make A Black & Tan

The Irish have many traditions, and the traditional method for how to make a Black and Tan is near and dear to many Irish beer drinkers. Although, truth be told, Black and Tans are more of an American thing — a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. As with any Irish tradition, arguments abound about what makes one recipe better than another. Some purists believe that only a good Guinness stout and a Bass Ale have the makings of a good Black and Tan. However, you can achieve the desired results with any dark stout and light colored lager or ale.

  1. Pour a light colored lager or ale in a tall beer glass. Do not fill the glass more than half-full. It helps to tip the glass to prevent foaming.
  2. Place a spoon over the glass, upside down. The spoon will help disperse the flow of the stout beer, allowing for the separation of the two beers.
  3. Slowly, very slowly, pour the stout beer over the upside down spoon. You do not want to rush this part of the process, as the desired separation is best achieved with a slow pour and no foaming.

A perfect Black and Tan will have the lighter lager or ale in one layer on the bottom and the dark stout in another layer on the top. If you find that your layers are a little mixed, allow the beer to sit for a minute or two. Stout beer, while having a thicker texture than traditional ales, is actually lighter than ale, resulting in the floating effect.

When making a Black and Tan straight from the tap, tipping the glass at an angle to avoid foaming helps. Likewise, gentling pulling the tap will avoid adding the stout with too much force.

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