Should I Tilt The Glass When Pouring Beer

Most people have their own way of pouring beer. Some like their beer to have a nice foamy head. While others try to avoid the foam completely. But what is the correct way to pour a beer? And should I tilt the glass when pouring beer?

In this article I will cover how to pour the perfect pint of beer. What the perfect pint should look like and whether or not you should tilt the glass.

Should I Tilt The Glass When Pouring Beer?

If you want to achieve the perfect pint, then yes, you should tilt the glass when pouring a beer. A 45° angle is ideal for half of the pour. Then bring the glass to a vertical position to finish the last half of the pour. This will create the perfect amount of foam at the top. Which is about 1/2 to 1 inch or 12 to 25 millimetres depending on the beer style.

This is an adequate head for most beers, but it depends on the beer. A Belgian ale for instance maybe served with a 2 – 3 inch (50 – 75 mm) head.

What Does The Perfect Pint Of Beer Look Like?

For most beer styles, a pint glass should filled around 95% of the lovely beer, and 5% foamy white head. This is generally the perfect looking pint of beer.

However some people don’t like that inch of foam on top. They think they are being short changed and not getting the right amount of beer.

First the foam will always turn back to beer. Second it releases the carbonation within the beer into the glass. And third, the foam will protect the aroma and enhance the taste of the malts and hops.

If you don’t break out the CO2 in the glass, then it will break out in the stomach. This can cause bloating and stomach ache.

This can also happen if a beer is consumed straight from the bottle or can.

So don’t reject the foam head on a pint of beer. Embrace it and know it is supposed to be a part of the whole beer experience.

Pouring Beer From Bottles And Cans

Should I Tilt The Glass When Pouring Beer

The procedure I am about to explain is included in level one of Cicerone training, a certified beer server. It covers pouring filtered beer as well as unfiltered beer.

Filtered beer is what you would expect, it has been filtered to remove any access yeast or sediment. This means the whole contents of the bottle or can will be poured into the glass.

Unfiltered beers will contain yeast and sediment, and on most occasions should be left behind in the bottle or can. Certain beer styles (like a Hefeweizen) encourage the sediment to be poured into the glass along with the rest of the beer.

It can also be a personal choice. Some people don’t like sediment in their beer, while others are fine with it.

How To Pour Filtered Beer

Tilt the glass to a 45° angle and pour the beer down the side of the glass. When the glass is about half full bring it to the upright position and fill to the top.

This will create the all important foam head on the beer, and you have poured a perfect pint.

How To Pour Unfiltered Beer

Be careful not to move the bottle or can around too much before pouring as this may disrupt the sediment. Unless of course you are going to pour it all in the glass.

Tilt the glass to a 45° angle and pour the beer down the side of the glass. When the glass is half full bring it to the upright position and continue to pour.

Keep an eye on the beer in the bottle and just as the sediment or last part of the beer gets close to the neck, stop pouring. This will leave the sediment in the bottle.

It is a little harder to do from a can because you can’t see through the can. You have to judge when there is only a little bit of beer left in the can. And then stop the pour to leave the sediment behind.

How To Pour Draught Beer

The pour from a tap is similar to the pour from a bottle or can. However there are a couple of rules to stand by, ones I have seen broken a thousand times.

One, never let the tap come into contact with the glass. Two, never let the tap become immersed in the beer or foam.

Tilt the glass at a 45° angle about 1 inch below the tap. Open the tap fully and pour down the side of the glass. Once the glass is about 3/4 full bring it to the upright position and continue to pour down the middle of the glass.

This will create the perfect head to cover the beer.

Final Thoughts

So to pour the perfect pint you should tilt the glass at a 45° angle for the first half of the pour. If you keep it tilted close to the end of the pour will result in a foam free beer.

However this is not the aim for the perfect pint. A well poured pint of beer should have a foam head on top. This will stop bloating by releasing some of the C02 into the glass. As well as enhancing the smell and taste of the beer.

There is another step that some bars take to achieve the perfect pint. Rinsing the inside of the glass with cold water not only cleans it of dust and lint, but creates less friction for a smoother pour.

This is something that I have got into the habit of doing. However it is not in the level one beer server training. So might not be officially recognised as a crucial step to serving beer right.

If you have any thoughts on how to pour beer, then do please share them below. Do you prefer a foam top, or is a foamless pint the one for you?

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