How to Pour Beer

There is both an art and a science to pouring a beer, and it’s certainly not as simple as it looks. How you pour diferrent bstyle beers is essential to serving the perfect pint. Whether pouring pilsners, stouts, IPAs, or Belgians, proper technique will maximizes the flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel while producing the appropriate amount of head while releasing carbonation.
Taste with your eyes. The presentation of the beer in the glass in terms of its foam head, clarity, brilliance and color is very important. In terms of flavor, the foam head is critical. Beer glass shape, material and thickness impacts on the longevity of the foam, and whether or not the aromas are caught and presented to the drinker’s nose. Thicker glasses will reduce the rate of beer warming thus tending to improve the persistence of the foam.
Pouring & Glassware Use

The ideal serving temperature is between 4°— 5°C. Beer tastes best in glasses made for beer alone. That’s because milk, tea, coffee, and even the soap used to clean the glasses, leaves a residue that diminishes a beer’s head.

There should be at least two fingers of foam when finished pouring a beer into a glass. All brewmasters agree that beer head is desirable. The head holds the flavor of the beer in the glass, ensuring a fuller taste and a smoother more drinkable beer.

When pouring a beer from a bottle or can into a glass vessel, hold the glass upright on the table and allow the beer to splash down the center of the glass. If the head is building up too quickly, decrease the flow and let it slide down the side of the glass. If the head is not growing fast enough, turn the bottle or can perpendicular over the glass and allow the remainder of the beer to splash down and froth around.

Long cylindrical shaped pils glasses will have a higher surface to volume ratio, thus warm more quickly. Importantly, glasses with a relatively narrow brim compared to their body tend to concentrate aromas in the glass and present them to the drinker’s nose.  When pouring any style of beer or using any technique, use a clean glass. A dirty glass, containing oils, detergents, dirt or residual liquid from a previous beer, won’t give your beer a good stage to work from.
Simple Rules for Glassware

Beer glasses should only be used for beer. Do not serve beer in glasses that have been used for milk, tea, coffee, soda, or any other liquid. Otherwise there will be fat residue on the inside of the glass that will kill the beer head.

Always serve beer in a wet glass. If the glass is dry it will have picked up some dust or other foreign matter that cannot be seen. Rinse the glass in pure, cold water and shake out excess before pouring the beer.

Never wash a beer glass with soap. The fat from soap leaves invisible traces on the glass, no matter how much it is cleaned and rinsed. This will diminish the beer head.

Never dry a beer glass. No matter how carefully and thoroughly the drying is done, lint and other foreign particles will adhere to the inside of the glass. Instead of drying the glass, rinse it in cold water, turn it upside down and let the water drain out.

Perfect way to pour beer
How To Pour Lager
How to pour beer, Lager

STEP 1

Start with the glass at roughly a 45-degree angle and slowly begin to pour steadily along the inside of the glass so head doesn’t build to quickly.

How to pour beer, Lager

STEP 2

Try to pour the lager in a single motion gradually straightening the glass and allowing more head to form as you do so.

How to pour beer, Lager

STEP 3

As the glass straightens up, pour the beer into the middle of the glass to build up head. Try to ensure a good two fingers or more of foam, so that the maximum amount of aromatic compounds can be enjoyed.

vienna style lager
How To Pour Ale
How to pour an Ale

STEP 1

Regardless of glass, whether it’s a pint tumbler or a stemmed tulip glass, start at a 45-degree angle and pour slow and steadly.

How to pour an Ale

STEP 2

It’s especially important with bottle-conditioned ales of any variety to pour them smoothly and steadily in one pour, so that little if any yeast sediment makes it into the glass.

How to pour an Ale

STEP 3

As it fills, straighten up the glass and allow a decent head of at least a finger or two to form. Too much head and all the bitterness will hide in the foam, robbing the beer of balance.

Ale in mass glass
How To Pour Wheat Beer
How to pour a wheat beer

STEP 1

Belgian bartenders may wet the glass to help control the head when pouring these lively, highly-carbonated beers. Whether filtered or unfiltered, pour gently along the side of the glass at first.

How to pour a wheat beer

STEP 2

When halfway, very gradually straighten the glass, and slow down the pour if it’s getting too foamy. Whether it’s a German hefeweiss or a Belgian wit, it should be nice and cloudy.

How to pour a wheat beer

STEP 3

When only the last few gulps are left in the bottle, stop the pour and gently swirl the bottle around to agitate the remaining yeast in the bottle and pour it on top to create a blossoming pile of foam.

American Wheat Beer Style
How To Pour Stouts & Porters
How to pour a stout or porter

STEP 1

Unlike other beers, it’s considered acceptable, if not encouraged, to pour stout or porter in two separate pours. Start out slow and let the head develop at its own pace.

How to pour a stout or porter

STEP 2

Stopping halfway and allowing the head to settle before continuing will build a creamier head, which enhances the dry coffee and chocolate notes in the beer. Pouring in one pour will make for a smoother, creamer taste.

How to pour a stout or porter

STEP 3

Continue to fill the glass, but try not to exceed two fingers of foam. If it’s a bottle-conditioned variety, beware of the yeast at the end of the bottle, which can hide the darkness of the liquid.

Stout or Porter