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How to Pour a Perfect Glass of Beer from the Tap or Bottle

Updated on August 9, 2011
Guinness with its characteristic head.
Guinness with its characteristic head. | Source
Beer tasting with several beers.
Beer tasting with several beers. | Source

There is a certain skill with serving beer, and every beer is different. Different beers are best served at different temperatures, and each has its foam. Bartenders use different tricks for serving a proper glass of beer, and it is not just keeping the beer at a good, constant cold temperature. It's all in how it is poured. Tricks include holding the beer at a certain degree or angle to minimize the foam head, and to always use a clean, rinsed glass.

Things needed for a perfect glass of beer:

  • Beer from the tap or from a can or bottle
  • Beer mug or glass to serve it in
  • Refrigerator or cooler where the beer will be kept (set around 37 to 38 degrees)
  • Clean water for rinsing, optional, or use bottled water

How to pour the beer:

Place the beer in the refrigerator or cooler which is set at around 37 to 38 degrees. Allow the beer to remain inside until the beer is comes down to this temperature, at least a few hours.

Chill the glasses by placing them the refrigerator or cooler until they are cold.Take several tablespoons of fresh, clean water or bottled water and swish the water around the inside of the glass right before pouring in the beer. While swishing, ensure the water touches all surface areas on the inside that the beer will be touching. Avoid getting water on the outside of the glass.

Take the beer glass or mug and hold it at about a 90 degree angle from the beer tap, or the opening of the can or bottle that has the beer in it. The angle of the glass really makes a difference when pouring the beer. Keep the glass tilted while pouring it into the glass or mug and you can control the amount of foam head on the beer. This sharp angle will help keep a very large foam head from over-expanding as the beer is being poured into the glass. As the beer nears the top, decrease the angle until the desired head of foam is reached. Stop pouring when the head of the foam reaches the top of the glass.

Serve immediately.

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