Every beer lover has a picture in their mind that when conjured, immediately makes their mouth start to salivate. You know the one. A perfectly poured glass filled with your favorite craft brew. A 1” head billowing to the brim and tantalizing you with aromas that make you want another before you even start the first.
Attaining the ‘Perfect Pour’ may be trickier than you’d think, but we’ve put together this list of trade secrets that helps to make it more than possible.
Cleanliness ensures that the beer your brewer worked so hard creating, is able to be enjoyed as they intended. Two of the most important things to ensure are clean when attaining the Perfect Pour, are the beer lines and the glassware.
Beer is essentially a food product. Therefore, properly cleaning draft beer lines is important as it reduces any yeast and bacteria from growing in the lines. These can create off tastes and moldy smelling beer. Appealing? We didn’t think so.
For commercial environments, line cleaning should be performed once every two weeks. For home kegerators, where you don’t typically cycle through as much beer and the beer line is much shorter, we recommend cleaning your lines every time you switch out a keg or every five weeks, whichever is shorter.
Beer Clean glassware is also essential as it ensures the glass is free of any impurities, including things like leftover sanitizer, beer, dirt, food, grease, lipstick, etc. This is important as these impurities give CO2 a place to cling inside the glass. The rogue CO2 in beer is meant to be rapidly released upon the pour. That is why you see all the bubbles rising and creating a head at the top of your beer. When CO2 clings to impurities in the glass it can lessen the head, changing the retention and altering the mouthfeel and flavors of the beer. After everything that went into creating your favorite beer, the last thing you want to do is to serve it in an unclean glass and spoil the experience.
Some helpful tips to attaining Beer Clean glassware:
- Wash beer glassware separate from other dishes with a clean unused cloth or sponge.
- Use a detergent made for glassware that offers low-suds and is odor-free.
- Air dry glassware to avoid adding lint to the glasses or use a lint free towel.
- Pre-rinse glasses before serving to remove dust or other particulates.
- Avoid frosted glassware as each ice crystal creates excess foaming and changes the CO2 disbursement.
- Store clean glassware in an area free of odors, smoke, grease, or dust.
The Perfect Pour
Now, for the measured act of pouring! Follow these steps to help ensure the ‘Perfect Pour’:
- Start with Beer Clean glassware.
- Rinse the glass to remove any dust or residue.
- Angle the glass at a 45 degree angle.
- Pour your beer aiming for the middle of the glass side to help the beer travel smoothly without splashing back. Pro Tip: Don’t touch the tap or container to the beer in the glass or the glassware itself. This will avoid any contaminants being transferred to the beer and altering your tasting experience.
- Maintain a steady-paced pour.
- As the beer reaches the lip of the glass, slowly straighten the glass to an upright position.
- Pour the remainder of the beer directly into the center of the glass. Pro Top: leave room between the bottle, can or tap and the rim of the glass. If you pour from higher up, you will allow more air into the beer and help produce more foam for a fuller head.
Did we miss any crucial tips? If so, drop a line in the comments and let us know!
Community Beer Works photo by Mike West.