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5 Steps to Pouring the Perfect Draft

Pouring a beer from the draft system seems simple – and it is. To achieve the best quality pour, be sure to keep these simple steps in mind when pouring:

1. Start with a clean glass:

Using clean glasses may seem like a no-brainer, but busy nights can wear down even the experienced bartender and cause them to overlook a few things. Glassware washed in low temperature machines are sanitized with chemicals rather than high heat. This type of sanitation may leave lipstick marks or fingerprints, and can also leave chlorine deposits that will kill the beers foamy head. If a high temp dishwasher is not being used, take extra care to make sure that all glasses are completely rinsed and cleaned.

2. Hold the glass at an angle:

When pouring a beer, experts suggest holding the glass at about a 45 degree angle. Open the tap quickly and fully; the beer should hit the middle of the glass and slide down the side to the bottom. This prevents too much head from developing too quickly. Once to glass is 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full, stop pouring and hold the glass upright.

3. Look for the right amount of foam:

A little head on a beer is a good thing. It helps the drinker notice more of the flavors and aroma of the draft a they take the first sip. Aim for about a half-inch of head in a pint glass, and a little more in other types of glass. Adding distance between the tap and the glass will create more of a foamy head.

4. Take your time: Some beers require more time for the perfect pour. Guinness experts and enthusiasts recommend using the double-pour method for the thick and nitrogenous stout. Pouring the beer 2/3 of the way full and then waiting a good 30 seconds before filling the rest helps the nitrogen bubbles in the beer settle. Guinness enthusiasts swear that this method produces the perfect amount of head and the best tasting Guinness.

5. Assess the final product:

Before serving the beer, take a look: does it have the right amount head? Is it the right color? Does it smell the way a good beer should? If anything is off, it could be a sign of a problem with the tap system or the beer itself and needs to be investigated.

Pouring the perfect draft beer requires attention to detail and consistency. Even on busy nights, take the time to care for each beer being poured. Making sure you have a healthy tap system and following the 5 easy steps will give you the perfect pour every time, and your customers will love you for it.


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