Pouring the perfect glass of draft beer is simple and easy when you know a few basic tips and techniques.
The purpose of this article is to provide a quick guide to pouring the perfect draft beer.
Following the steps below will help assure you are serving and consuming keg beer at its best.
A “Beer Clean” glass is the first step to serving an enticing and appetizing glass of beer.
Test 1 – To test the glassware to see if it is “Beer Clean,” try wetting the inside of a glass with water, then shake table salt all around on the inside of the glass. The salt will stick where the glass is clean.
Test 2 – Dispense a beer into a glass, examine the beer in the glass, and look for any bubbles clinging to the side or bottom of the glass. Are there bubbles on the glass surface? Are these bubbles rising to the top of the beer? If so, the beer glass is not clean. The CO2 gas contained will leave the beer and attach to a film residue left from detergent, lint, or other foreign matter to the glass.
Properly cleaning a beer glass starts by using equipment and detergents engineered specifically for beer glass cleaning. These products are available for both commercial and residential use.
It is very important to follow the manufacturers instructions for using these products. The procedures will vary from one product to the other.
To dispense the beer, hold the glass at a 45-degree angle about one inch below the beer faucet. Place a hand near the faucet, quickly open the handle towards you with one motion.
As the glass fills, straighten the glass to an upright position, and close the faucet by snapping it back to the closed position.
Positioning a hand low on the tab knob just above the faucet is a technique that minimizes the distance your hand must travel to open or close the faucet. This allows the faucet to open and close quickly, which improves the quality of the pour.
Pouring the perfect beer requires a beer system that is operating at or near 38 degrees F, and properly balanced.
The head of a beer brings out the flavor and aroma. Many breweries suggest that a well-poured beer should have a ½ inch (nickel width) to a ¾ inch (quarter width) foam on top of the beer.
Looking closely at the foam it should consist of small bubbles of the same size that should be tightly clinging together. As the beer is consumed, a lacing of foam should collect on the side of the glass indicating each swallow. This is the sign of a good beer, a clean glass, and is said to bring good luck.
If the beer foam contains large bubbles or dissipates quickly this is a sign of a glass that is not clean. This may also indicate an issue with the gas pressure applied to the beer.
If the foam is excessively thick and foamy, this may indicate that the gas pressure applied to the beer is not balanced.
When dispensing draft beer at a special event or party it is best to use plastic cups only.
Wax lined paper cups or Styrofoam cups should not be used. The inside surface of the container is coarse or may have a residue from the manufacturing process that will conflict with the beer, resulting in excessive foaming.