How to Pour Beer – 3 Tips to Improve Your Pour Today

How to pour draught beer

Any bartender in their career has had to learn how to pour beer. There is an art & science to pouring draught beer. What can make it difficult for beginners is that every tap can be different. Some taps will pour faster and some types of beer will pour out more foam, also known as the ‘head’.

An improperly poured beer leads to a disproportionate amount of foam and a lot of beer can be wasted trying to rectify this. So you want to pour the beer as accurately as possible on the first go. To avoid wastage and too much or too little foam, follow the steps below…

How to Pour Beer

  1. Hold the glass below the tap (or lightly touching the tap) at a 45-degree angle and pull the tap open the whole way. Never open the tap partially as this will cause over-foaming and spraying.
  2. Once the tap is open, let the beer flow down the side of the glass and when it gets to half-way, gently tilt the glass up-right until the glass is full.
  3. Once the glass is full, turn off the tap.
How to Pour Beer
How to Pour Beer

If you’ve poured too much foam, let the beer sit & wait for it to go down before topping it up again. If you’ve poured too little foam, grab a straw and swirl the beer around.

How much foam you want will depend on where you’re working. Americans prefer as little foam as possible whereas Europeans, the Brits, and Australians like 1-2 fingers of foam. It will take a few goes for you to get this right, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy.

What is Beer Head

Get your mind out of the gutters. When someone learns how to pour beer it’s usually because they want to avoid drinking half a glass of beer foam; or better known as beer head. This head is the foam that forms at the top of a beer after an improper pour and is typically made up of carbon dioxide rushing to the surface of your glass. The correct method of how to pour beer to avoid this head is to properly tilt your glass before pouring.

Bottled Beer

If someone orders a bottled beer, the best practice is to open it for your customer and serve it with a glass. Whether or not you pour it for them will depend on where you’re working. But as a general rule, you shouldn’t. Many people find great satisfaction in pouring their own beer, or they prefer to drink straight out of the bottle instead.

Which Type of Beer is Best?

IPA’s, pilsners, stouts, hefeweizens, lambics, dunkels, and porters… There’s no doubt about it, the rise of the craft beer revolution has made the different types of beer more interesting. But at the same, much more confusing.

So which type is best? We’ll let you be the judge of that. But if you want to learn more about the beautiful world of brews, read our deep dive into beer here.

How to Pour a Nitro Beer

Guinness is a well-known drink that has been enjoyed by people all over the world. One of its most attractive features are those who enjoy it straight from an nitro tap at 45 degrees with nothing else added – this leaves room for spectacular foamy head forms which makes your glass filled to top off easily when served in style! If you want less beer but still have great flavor each sip, try pouring about 120 seconds worth (or two full minutes) into one cups so there’s no risk whatsoever towards underpouring any excess liquid due carelessness.

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Tom Drake
Tom Drake

Founder of Crafty Bartending, Tom is passionate about the hospitality industry. For the past 5 years, he has traveled around Europe, Asia, & Australia working as a professional bartender & bar manager. He loves consuming cookies, big macs, beer and wine.


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