How To Pour Beer
While there’s a time and place for chugging right out of the can, every grown man should know how to pour beer. Drinking beer from a glass not only makes you look like an adult, but it actually improves of the taste of the beer you’re drinking. The technique that bartenders use to pour a beer is designed to create about 1 inch of head, or foam, on top. According to the History Channel’s “The Works,” beer head is the result of carbonation bubbles encased by protein molecules, and it’s an essential characteristic of quality beer. Not only is it visually appealing, it releases the beer’s aroma and flavor and release some of the carbonation from the beer, making it smoother. Follow the tips below to pour a beer into a glass, and start enjoying your favorite beverage like a grown-up.
To pour beer, you’ll need:
- Beer (from the draught or in a bottle)
- A beer glass
- Before you pour a beer, choose the right glass. Just like wine, the taste of beer is actually improved by the glass in which it is served. The shape of the glass you use will affect how much head is created and how long it will last, which in turn affects the beer’s taste and aroma. Select the style of glassware according to the type of beer you’re drinking.
- Clean your glass before you pour a beer into it. Not only is a dirty glass disgusting, but dust, dirt, oils or the remnants of the last beer you drank can prevent a head from forming, changing the beer’s flavor.
- Before you begin to pour a beer from a bottle, consider the sediment. In some bottles, you’ll find yeasty sediment distilled on the bottom. Since it can interfere with the beer’s flavors, you generally want to avoid getting it in the glass. Pour the beer gently to keep the sediment on the bottom of the bottle. The exceptions to this rule include hefeweizens and unfiltered Belgian, whites which are improved by this sediment. To include as much sediment as possible, pour three-quarters of the beer, then swirl the bottle to “stir up” the sediment, and finish the pour.
- When you’re ready to pour a beer, hold the glass at a 45° angle, and pour the beer down the middle of the glass. Keep a little distance between the bottle and the glass, which will help to produce a good head. When the glass is about half filled, straighten it to a 90° angle and finish pouring the beer.
- Adapt your technique according to the type of beer you’re pouring. Because too much head may detract from the bitter flavor of ales, hold the glass at a 45°angle while you fill the glass roughly two-thirds full before you straighten it, which will create a smaller head. Hefeweizens have strong foaming potential, so pour them very gently and keep the glass tilted the entire time. Conversely, don’t angle the glass at all when pouring pilsners, and let the head extend over the lip. A thick head is desirable for stouts, so slowly fill the glass half way, and allow the beer to settle before you finish the pour.