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Raise The Bar - How To Pour The Perfect Pint
In the world of pubs and breweries, there's a revered skill that goes beyond the clinking of glasses and the hum of lively conversations—the art of pouring the perfect pint. Achieving that flawless pour is both an art form and a science, requiring a delicate balance of technique, precision, and a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship behind every brew.
Okay, perhaps that’s a little too far. But is there more to pouring a pint than tilting a glass 45 degrees? In this blog post, we’ll look at the essential elements to pour the perfect pint, breaking down the key factors alongside some drink-specific advice. And, who knows, you might be surprised about some of the advice we give …
The Basics ...
Line cleaning is essential to getting a good quality pint of beer. If you don’t clean your line regularly, then a build-up of yeast, bacteria and biofilms will ruin the taste of your product and spoil the aroma too. Therefore it's essential to ensure that your lines are clean. You should clean them at least once every two weeks, but once per week is best.
Choosing the correct glassware is also essential, as it will influence the perception of the product people drink. It’s common knowledge that people ‘drink with their eyes’, so using appealing glassware will help your pints look and taste better. Above is a short inforgraphic of the different glassware available to you.
Renovating Your Glassware
If your pints seem flat, then you should take the time to renovate your glassware. To do this, you should use a Renovate (a type of detergent) for the glassware in the wash. If you want to stay on top of this before it becomes a problem, then be sure to renovate your glassware every couple of months.
Ensure Your Glassware Is Dry.
When a beer hits a wet glass it inhibits the release of gas, again making your pints flat and leading to customer complaints and wastage. Therefore, you should always ensure glassware coming out of a washing machine is dry and cool. This can be problematic for a busy bar, so you can look at solutions such as air dry racks, which will help your glassware dry quicker than just leaving them.
The quality of your cellar feeds directly back into the quality of your pints. In particular, this comes down to cellar hygiene, keeping your cellar at the correct temperature and ensuring that there has been sufficient time for the racking and stillage of ales to ensure the perfect pints. This is where you can rely on 7 Day Cellars' same-day delivery service to ensure you can get your casks on stillage as soon as you want them.
That is the general advice for keeping some high quality points, but be sure to check out below for some more specific guidance on the technique behind pouring pints ...
Drink Specific Advice
Lagers / Ciders
Draft beers come kegged with high levels of CO2, giving them large bubbles and a thin head, alongside a different pouring process compared to cask products like ales.
When pouring a lager you need to hold your glass at a 45-degree angle until the glass is around half full. Be sure to quickly pull the tap all the way down when pouring your pint, else you'll get too much head in the beer. From here, tilt the glass vertically until it's upright, which will help to give the beer some head. The process is the same for pouring a bottled beer, except you need to let the beer settle between pours to avoid a larger head. If a head is not forming, then you can gently lift the glass up and down while vertical to encourage the head formation.
You should also ensure that you stop pouring roughly ¾ an inch before the beer reaches the top, which gives comfortable space for a head that should settle down.
If you don’t pour the perfect pint, here’s exactly what you can do to save it:
If you have too much head on your pint, then dip the faucet below the pint's head and into the beer, pulling the tap handle down as fast as possible. From here, the pint will overflow and, as it fills, the head on the pint should reduce until it’s the perfect size.
It’s always better to have too big of a head than too little. If you don’t have a head for your pint, you can pull the tap handle short and fast dropping beer from a height to create a head from the beer. If this still doesn’t work you might need to pour out some of the pint and restart to build more of a head.
Cider pints, in general, should follow the same process, however, their heads are typically much thinner than beers (around half of that).
Guinness Or Nitro Beers And Ales
Nitro beers, stouts and ales all use a 70/30 gas, which is 70% nitrogen and 30% CO2, giving a creamier pint. This means they have a different pint pouring process to your regular lagers and ciders.
When pouring these beers, you should place the glass directly below the tap, so it’s completely vertical and fill the pint 2/3rds of the way there. From here, you should then stop for a few seconds and leave the beer to settle. At this point, the beer will cascade, where the bubbles move from the top of the beer to the bottom. Then, continue filling the beer right to the top and stop pouring before the beer reaches the top to leave room for a good head. An ale head should still be there, but it should be slightly thinner than the head you would leave for a lager pint.
This concludes our comprehensive guide on how to pour excellent pints. It's important to consider the specific techniques for pouring certain beers alongside general best practises that will impact all of your pints.
This concludes our comprehensive guide on how to pour excellent pints. It’s important to consider the specific techniques for pouring certain beers alongside general best practises that will impact all of your pints.