How Do I Get This Goodness in Me!? Pouring Beer

There is a great debate in the world of beer drinkers. Well, maybe not a great debate. More of a little drunken argument that occurs between beer snob one and beer snob two. It’s not that there is a right answer. I mean, when enjoying a drink of the libation that saved the world, it’s hard to really get upset over a minor detail like how to drink it. Sure, we argue about the best Porters, Stouts, and IPAs, but how to drink it isn’t exactly a point of venomous contention.

There is one thing for sure, at least in my eyes, that it shouldn’t come out of a can. I think all snobs can agree that there isn’t a fine, craft beer brewer out there that said, “you know, this is such damned good beer it can only be deserving of aluminum.” Yeah, great beer is in glass or from a tap. Aluminum cans are as classy as the only other thing clad in aluminum…double-wide trailers. At least it’s “double-wide.” Single-wide is just embarrassing.

How is a beer to be enjoyed? Whether it comes from a tap, out of a bottle, a mini-keg, whatever, it needs to be in a glass. This is rule number one. If you want to really enjoy the time and effort put in to a beer, then you need to pour it in a glass. Do they do wine or beer tasting from the bottle? Have you ever seen a credited beer judge take a sniff of the aromatics of a good beer from the neck of a bottle? No. The answer is no. Though, if it comes from a can, the glass isn’t gonna make the difference, so you can just pound that dirty water. Shotgun it or pour it in a funnel and then down your frat brother’s gullet. Who gives a shit. The beer cost you 48 cents a can, after all.

For those of you out there that spend a few cents more on your beer, then you probably already know how to pour a decent beer.

After a search of YouTube for some videos to share, I have seen some pretty terrifying things. The hard pour and the glugging pour are just wrong. Working at the pub, I’ve even seen the horrifying vertical pour. Watched as a customer turn a bottle upside down in the glass, literally in the glass, and slowly lifted the bottle out of the glass as it filled up. Just a glugging, hard pour that looked painful. I think I heard the beer screaming from the torture.

Instead of establishing a safety word to avoid this kind of thing in the future, I decided to turn to a YouTube channel favorite of mine: CHOW. It’s like the FOOD Network for normal people with great tips on everything from picking the perfect steak to making the perfect homemade french fries. I love this site, and the CHOW YouTube Channel is great. So, without further delay, here is what I think is a very complete look at pouring the proper beer for the usual styles that you will encounter. Click here.

There is also a beer that almost stands alone with its legacy, fame, and even it’s unique pour. With more than 250 years to rest its name on, and only the blemish of the recent addition of a wretched Black Lager to tarnish its good name, Guinness is the only beer I know of that demands a two-part pour. For a proper pour, we go to the source. Though it is a bit cheesy and just as much an ad as it is a guide, check out the Guinness two-part pour here.

So there you have it. A fairly complete, quick look at the right way to pour a beer. I hope this helps. If you enjoy beer, then you need a glass, a mug, or even a German beer stein. Whatever it is, the brew needs to get out of the bottle. It’s like eating ravioli out of a can. It’s just better when you serve it right. In the coming weeks we will look at the different glasses that are for different brews, and even serving temperatures for beer, and why Coors Light can be served at near liquid nitrogen temperatures while other beers just need to be warmer than freezing…because they taste good. Shhh, it’s a secret. Colder isn’t always better. Until next time. Prost.


One thought on “How Do I Get This Goodness in Me!? Pouring Beer

  1. Wesley, I have an few things I take exception to with this entry. While I agree that glass and/or kegs are a preferrable carrying vessel, there are a lot of REALLY good beers in cans right now, and I think it’s no longer fair to judge a beer just by it’s transportation shell. Go pour a nice Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, or Old Chub…or a Fort George Vortex IPA or 1811 Lager. Surly brewing in Minnesota is one of the most sought-after breweries right now and can’t keep up with demand, and sell in cans exclusively. Hell, even your precious New Belgium release several beers in cans.

    There’s an ever-growing movement to move to aluminum in the craft beer scene. While I don’t necessarily LIKE it, to say that no good brewers/beers would want to go with cans is simply erroneous. Not all canned beer is Bud/Miller/Coors/Pabst/Maddog2020, etc.

    Past that, I’m a glass snob as well, but I take it farther – I actually prefer to drink beers from it’s appropriate glassware. Drinking a pilsner? Use a pilsner glass. Drinking a nice german hefeweizen? Weizen glass. A barleywine, belgian or nice big stout? Snifter! I’m a fan of the whole beer drinking EXPERIENCE, and while some find it cheesy, I love the process of enjoying a good beer, with a proper pour, at proper temperature (not all beer is supposed to be served cold as shit…most craft beers are much better when they’re around 50 F), properly carbonated and in a proper piece of nice glassware that is appropriately clean to allow for maximum head retention and aroma release. Snobby? Yes, maybe, but in general it enhances the experience to me. You likely wouldn’t eat a nice bacon wrapped filet mignon on a paper plate with a dirty plastic fork, so don’t insult your craft beer by drinking it out of the bottle or out of a water glass.

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