Top tips to help pour the perfect pint – and key pitfalls to avoid

If we told you it was all about keeping it clean, the perfect head, and the angle of your dangle, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d drifted off our topic of expertise.

But, fret not, dear beer drinkers – of course we’re talking about the art of pouring the perfect pint of fresh beer.

From the glass you choose, how well you’ve cleaned it, and the speed and angle of your pour, there’s more than you may think that goes into it.

Choosing the right glass:

While it’s the beer itself that will always do the heavy lifting – not the glass – when it comes to a perfect pint, not all glasses are created equal. There’s a reason why particular styles of beer are traditionally served up in specific types of glasses – and it’s not just for the aesthetics.

Different shaped glasses change the way beer hits your tongue and how it smells. The myriad shapes and sizes of glassware have been designed to enhance the aromatic compounds inherent to different kinds of beer, which plays a massive part in the quality of your pint. (There’ll be more on that later…)

From traditional tankards to tulip glasses – wide at the bottom, thinning out near the top, then flaring at the rim, to hold the citrusy, hoppy and wheaty aromas of the head in the bottleneck of the glass – to steins, mugs, goblets or chalices – choosing the perfect glass is key to the beer being consumed.

Keeping It Clean:

Once you’ve selected your vessel of choice, you need to make sure it’s beer clean. A glass that hasn’t been thoroughly washed and sanitised to remove any oils, residues or contaminants from the last beverage will taint the flavour and aroma of your beer. 

More importantly, it will inhibit CO2 properly escaping to the top of your glass, which is what helps to form the head.

You’ll know if a glass is dirty because it won’t retain a head, there’s no foam lines and bubbles stick to the inside of the glass.

Getting good head – and why it’s important 

The head on a beer gives a subtle sour taste and releases tiny molecules of flavour that you can smell every time you take a sip. 

The aroma of a beer originates from a number of sources – essentially the malt, hops, yeast and any additional ingredients added during the brewing process.

The interplay of taste and smell significantly affects how our brains perceive flavour, and while it’s a common perception that our tongues are the main player in all things culinary, taste buds aren’t capable of delivering the whole story alone – which is why this aroma is everything when it comes to the enjoyment of a good brew.

Pouring the perfect pint:

Pouring a pint badly won’t just leave you with a face full of foam, it will impact the taste too.

  • Start by tilting your glass to a 45-degree angle, which allows the beer to travel smoothly down the glass. A smooth flow means less air – and less air means you have more control over the foam.
  • As the beer reaches the lip of the glass, slowly straighten it out. At this point there should be little or no head
  • Once the glass is at a 90-degree angle, pour the remainder of the beer directly into the centre – leaving a gap between the tap and the glass. Pouring from higher up allows more air into the beer and helps produce more head.
  • Keep pouring until the head bubbles just above the top of the glass – ideally around 1ins.
  • Now try to keep your head on! Because the head is made up of carbon dioxide bubbles, it will dissipate as they burst – taking those all-important aromas with it. But you can slow down the process by drinking carefully and trying not to sup too much of the head in one mouthful.

We’re still here busy brewing all of your firm favourites to perfection ready to deliver to your door – but then the rest is up to you. 

And with no sign of a knees up happening at local any time soon, there’s now no excuse why you can’t enjoy a perfectly poured pint from the comfort of your own home, courtesy of the BeerDriveThru.com, every time.

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