How to Pour a Beer
Charles Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch endowed professor of malting and brewing sciences emeritus, knows beer. An expert on the enzymology of brewing and published author, Bamforth shares his secrets to pouring the perfect pint.
A clean glass is essential. “Very, very clean,” emphasized Bamforth.
“Pour with vigor.” This will properly release the carbon dioxide from the beer. If you pour the beer too gently, no bubbles will be produced. “You must pour with vigor in order to create the sufficient amount of foam in your glass,” he said. Different pouring techniques produce varying amounts of foam. “Pouring a beer into a glass is critical. You should never drink a beer straight out of a container. You won’t get a full appreciation for the beer.”
Be patient. Let the foam settle. Then top it off.
“If you go to Dublin and ask for a Guinness, you’re going to be waiting there at least 10 minutes,” explained Bamforth. “They are going to spend a lot of time pouring the beer.”
Does glass shape matter? “There are certain beers associated with certain shapes of glasses, but it has much more to do with tradition than anything else,” said Bamforth. “If you go to Belgium, you will get every beer poured into exactly the right glass for that beer. It will literally have the name of the beer on the glass!” Glass shape does not actually impact the flavor of the brew, Bamforth said, but it is helpful for the perfect pint. “It’s charming.”