Content Specialist 09 February 2021
Whether you’re a bar, restaurant, lucky owner of The SUB or pint pulling enthusiast, knowing how to pour a proper pint is crucial. Incorrect pouring can alter the taste and also negatively affect the aesthetics of your pint. By the end of this article, you'll know all the theory behind pouring pub worthy pints, the rest is just practice.
How to pour a perfect pint: With The SUB
Pouring the perfect pint with The SUB is considered to be a perfect equilibrium of both maths and magic. Chemistry and art. However you look at it, it is a combination of personal flair and scientific know-how. The challenge lies in the pouring technique, pour wrongly and the glass will fill up with an unappealing layer of foam. Pour your beer without any foam and you risk jeopardising the beer. It's an art form that needs practice, as painstaking measures have been taken to craft your beer, you don’t want ruin it!
Pouring a pint in 4 easy steps
With enough practice you are guaranteed to tap the perfect beer. When it comes to draughting beer, you need to think about the temperature, the glass, the angle and the pour. It is important to remember that different beers have different characteristics, this means there is variation in the recommended temperature and beer glass you should use.
How to pour a pint of lager
You can use these steps as a guideline for any beer but they are specifically designed for tapping lager. Please read our other articles for more specific beer treatment.
Before doing anything, we need to ensure the beer is at optimum drinking temperature. This is of course, dependent on the beer*. The clever design of The SUB will make sure your beer is at correct serving conditions for the kegs. The SUB cools the beer to 2ºC, so that when the beer touches your lips it is between 4ºC and 6ºC.
When it is correctly chilled the light on the device will turn green. If you wish to accelerate the process, you can chill your SUB Kegs before you load into the draught system.
*This is specific to The SUB. For more information, read our article all about serving temperatures.
For the perfect draught pint, you need your glass to be “beer clean”. The glass needs to be devoid of any impurities that may affect how easily C02 can bind to the glass. This can compromise the quality of the drinking experience either by altering the mouthfeel or tainting the flavours.
Take your freshly cleaned glass and rinse it with water. This makes your glass slippery, eliminating friction and creating a uniform head.
If you wish to clean your beer glass after use, do not use detergent and do not put it in the dishwasher. This affects the protective layer of the glass, just hand clean it with lukewarm water.
In order to enjoy a beer to its full potential, it’s important to drink the beer from the right glass. Read our detailed article on beer glasses.
Tilt the clean glass at a 45° degree angle, keeping the glass close to the tap.
Remain in this tilted position and pull the handle of The SUB down. You want the beer to pour onto the inside surface. Make sure the tap never actually touches the glass and do not let it become immersed in the beer. This is very important for hygiene and taste reasons.
When the glass is nearly full, gradually tilt the glass to an upright position and aim to pour in the centre. This will help with getting the correct level of foam.
The perfect head is widely considered to be 2cm, or two fingers of foam. Although, this is hotly contested, especially in the UK!
If you have a Belgian beer or German beer you must take extra care. If you straighten the glass prematurely the foam will flow over the sides. Tilt the glass upright only when the glass is almost entirely full.
Skim the head of your beer with a wet skimmer, removing any broken foam and harsh bitterness. This will help to seal the head and keep the aromas of the beer.