Mastering the Perfect Beer Pour: How to Properly Pour a Beer
By Liquid Cheers |
Aug 18, 2021
bartender pouring beer from a dispen sing tower

There are a couple of different ways to drink beer- out of the can, bottle, or in a glass. Although some may prefer a bottle or can, there are many benefits to drinking your beer out of a glass, including enhanced aroma, taste, and texture of your delicious beer.  

However, many people don’t know how to properly pour a beer, and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about! 

We will walk you through the best ways to pour a beer and why a proper pour matters. Keep reading to learn how to pour the perfect beer.

The Perfect Can & Bottled Beer Pour

The first step to correctly pouring a beer starts with using a clean glass. A dirty or improperly cleaned glass affects how the beer tastes and how the foam develops. 

Don’t waste beer on a dirty glass. 

When pouring from a bottle or can into a clean glass, you should tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle. This allows the beer to gently slide down the side of the glass and prevents too much foam (A.K.A head) from forming. 

Pour your beer into the center of the side of the glass and level the glass once it is half to two-thirds full, and keep pouring until the glass is full. Pouring it this way will achieve the optimal amount of head (which should be between a ½ inch and 1 ½ inches.)

The Perfect Draft Beer Pour

Mastering the perfect draft beer pour is vital to the success of your alcohol sales and customer satisfaction. 

Foam is an integral part of a properly poured beer, and if you have too much or too little head, it will greatly affect the taste and appearance of your beer. 

To pour a draft beer, tilt the beer glass at a 45-degree angle and place it close to the glass. Make sure to not touch the tap to the glass, though. 

Gently pull the tap handle with two fingers and fill the glass halfway to two-thirds full. Once you reach that amount, level the glass and fill it to the top. This is the standard pour for most beer and ensures you get that perfect level of head. 

Your customers will appreciate it. 

When pouring draft beer, you have to keep the keg in the back of your mind. You don’t want to end up with the end of the keg surprising you with a face and glass full of foam, and your customers don’t want the last dregs of the keg. 

Checking how much beer is in the keg at the beginning of the day will save you from many problems down the road. 

The Perfect Guinness Pour

The Guinness pour… tricky, tricky Guinness pour -we’ve all seen it, and most of us have probably wondered how in the world do you pour it correctly. 

The perfect pint of Guinness Draught is served using their famous ‘two-part’ pour. We promise it’s really not too hard once you get it down. 

The first step to mastering the Guinness pour is to use a Guinness glass. A Guinness glass is designed specifically to compliment the beer and make pouring beer easier. 

As you probably know by now, tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle. No exceptions! It’s vital for proper head creation. 

Slowly, very slowly, tilt the glass while pouring. Instead of waiting until half full, like with the other pours, slowly tip the glass throughout the pour. 

Okay, this is where the Guinness glass comes to play- end the pour when you reach the harp, which is around that three-quarter mark.  

Allow the surge and head to settle before filling the glass to the top. Some recommend allowing it to rest for about two minutes. 

Congrats, you now know how to properly pour a Guinness!

man sitting in front of a table with two draft beers

The Perfect Nitro Pour

Nitro beer is carbonated differently from regular draft beer, which means there are some minor differences in pouring. 

In addition to the carbon dioxide present in all beers, nitrogen is added to change the consistency of the beer. 

Nitrogen makes the beer look cool and makes it smoother to drink. But it also extends pour time because it adds foam more quickly.

Pour the beer into a clean glass at a 45-degree angle until the glass is two-thirds full. Wait until the foam resides, and then top off the glass with the beer. 

The settling period allows the excess foam to decrease and ensures you get a delicious beer with a silky texture. 

Every type of nitro beer pours just a little differently. Start with the above directions, but also play around with your nitro beer on tap to find the perfect method for that beer.

How to Pour Beer without the Foam (And Why Foam is Actually Good for Beer)

Foam is an important part of a properly poured beer. 

Not releasing some of the carbon dioxide leads to the dreaded beer bloat, so you’ll want to avoid not enough foam and aim for a beer with some foamy head.

If you genuinely don’t enjoy the feel or taste of foam, aim for a half-inch of head. 

The presence of foam indicates proper carbonation, and a beer with no foam at all tastes flat. 

If you pour a beer and it doesn’t develop any foam at all, check the expiration date. No foam is a good sign that your beer is old and has gone flat. 

You don’t want to find out the hard way what bad beer tastes like. 

To minimize the amount of head in a beer, (again…) pour the beer into a glass at a 45-degree angle. Pour as close to the glass as possible without actually touching the glass. 

SLOWLY level the glass once it threatens to spill over the side while continuing to pour. 

The longer you pour the beer at an angle, the less head your beer will have. If you really don’t want any foam, wait up to a minute until the foam disappears.

Now that you know how to properly pour a beer- no matter the type – it’s time to start thinking about your beer equipment. 

Whether you sell cans, bottles, draft, nitro, or all of the above, Liquid Cheers™ has a wide range of quality beer dispensing equipment for all of your draft beer needs. Contact us today for more information!