How to Pour Draught Beer – A Beginner’s Guide

How to pour draught 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:

  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.

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.

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.


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