Pouring beer is an art. How you put beer in a glass can change in (not-so-subtle ways) how your beer tastes, smells and feels. Doing it right allows the flavors of the beer to fully emerge. For the best flavor experience it is essential that you optimize the pour.

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Pouring a beer is actually quite easy. Here are three essential steps to the perfect pour:

  1. Use a clean glass. A dirty glass may contain oils, dirt or residuals from a previous beer and may inhibit head creation and flavors.
  2. Hold your glass at a 45° angle about 1” beneath the tap. Grip the tap handle at the base and pull hard to open the flow completely. Never partially open the tap— this will cause over foaming.
  3. Pour the beer, targeting the middle of the slope of the glass. At the half-way point bring the glass at a 90° angle and continue to pour in the middle of the glass. This will induce the perfect foam head. An ideal head should be 1" to 1-1/2".

Remember, having a head on a beer is a good thing. Firstly, foam releases carbon dioxide. If you do not release the CO2 in your pour, it will be released in your stomach, causing that bloated or full feeling you can sometimes get when drinking beer. Secondly, a substantial head carries with it intense, complex aromas from the beer that otherwise might be lost to the nose and the palate.

So, that’s it—three simple steps to the perfect pour. Craft beer offers some amazing taste experiences. A lot of time and love goes into creating these brews. The perfect pours assures that you are drinking the beer as the brewer intended and fully enjoying the experience. Cheers!