Hold the Glass at a 45 Degree Angle
When pouring a beer you should hold the glass at a 45 degree angle. Open the tap quickly and fully, allowing the beer to flow freely. The beer should hit the middle of the glass, allowing the beer to slide down to the bottom. This prevents too much head from developing too quickly. Once you get about half to 2/3 of the way full of beer, straighten the glass out and hold it upright.
Look for the Right Amount of Foam
Head on a beer is a good thing. It can help the beer drinker notice the flavors and aromas as he or she takes the first sip. It also produces air bubbles that will not allow the beer to sit like a slab of concrete at the bottom of your stomach, allowing your guests to not feel as full so easily. You should aim for about a half inch of head in a pint glass. A little more is fine for a different type of glass. By adding distance between the tap and the glass, you can help create more of a foamy head. The right amount of head and the proper technique can actually make the beer taste better.
Take Your Time
Some beers require more time for the perfect pour. Guinness is the prime example. Guinness experts suggest using the two-part pour or double-pour method for this thick and nitrogenous stout. Pouring the beer about 2/3 of the way up the glass and then waiting a good 30 seconds or more helps the nitrogen bubbles in the beer settle. Guinness enthusiasts swear that the double pour brings out the perfect amount of head and the best tasting Guinness.
Keep the Dispenser Faucet out of the Beer
Dunking the faucet of the tap into the beer as it fills is severely frowned upon. Some bartenders use this as a means to avoid excess foam. This is a major taboo since the mouth of the faucet could be carrying yeast or bacteria on the outside or underside of the metal faucet, and dunking this faucet into beer is unsanitary. Not only that; it’s unprofessional. This is the wrong way to solve the problem of foamy beer.
Assess the Final Product
Before you serve the beer, take a look. Does it have the right amount of head? Is it the right color? Does it smell like a good beer should? If anything looks or smells off about the beer, there may be an underlying problem with the tap system or the beer itself, and it will be worth your while to investigate.
Pouring the perfect draft beer requires attention to detail and consistency with every order. Even during busy nights, take the time to care for each beer as though it were poured for you. This, coupled with a healthy draft system, will give you the perfect pour every time—something your customers will recognize and appreciate.