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How to Pour a Beer

by Daniel Erickson
The Pour

Okay, so this has been bothering me for awhile - half the time I watch somebody attempt to pour a beer it is one of the most pitiful things I have ever seen. Pouring a beer into a glass isn't science; in fact, it's pretty easy if you know the basics. Below is the basic pour - I used a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout for this demonstration, but this works well for ales, lagers, and stouts. Okay, let's dive in.

1. Grab your favorite brew and pop 'er open. While holding your glass at 45 degrees begin your pour. Hold the beer off the lip and aim for the center of the glass.

2. Continue pouring until the beer is roughly half empty.

3. When you approach the half empty point straighten your glass to 90 degrees and pour right down the middle.

4. As you're pouring down the middle start increasing the distance between the glass and your bottle/can.

5. End the pour a few inches above the glass.

That's it! You should have a perfectly poured beer if you follow those simple steps.

Hefeweizens and Pilsners

That method works well for most beers, but with hefeweizens and pilsners I generally follow a slightly different method.

Hefeweizens are often more carbonated and have unfiltered yeast which you may or may not want to include in your beer. When pouring your hefeweizen start with your glass at the 45 degree angle and pour to about half empty. If you want to include the yeast from the bottle stop here, swirl the bottle around to gather the sediment from the bottom, and continue your pour at the 45 degree angle. If you don't want any yeast there is no need to stop the pour but when your reach the end slowly tilt the bottle up and leave the sediment in the bottle.

For pilsners, which are generally less carbonated, you can pour straight down the middle of the glass but don't go crazy. I hold the bottle right above the glass and pour straight down the middle without increasing my distance until the end to create the head.

Remember, the head is key (that's what she said!); it releases the aromatics of the beer and opens up the flavor so don't skimp and pour a headless beer.

The Glass

I am going to touch briefly on pouring beer into the right glass. I poured my into a pint glass (coincidentally the right glass for this type of beer), but that was just dumb luck. Check out the list of glasses and the beers that go with them at beeradvocate.com - it's pretty intense. I don't subscribe to this; I keep pint and hefeweizen glasses handy but that's about it. Maybe I'm just not a beer connoisseur, but I like beer and worrying about the proper glass just kills the experience. So, if you choose to pour it follow those steps; if not, drink 'er right out of the bottle.

About the Author: - Dan is a contributor to http://www.myweeklybeer.com. Stop over for all your how-to articles, beer, and bar reviews.

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