"Perfect Pour"

Swigging from the bottle or can is totally appropriate, almost anytime you’re having a beer. But if you’re interested in stepping it up a notch and increasing your beverage enjoyment, here’s how to do a great pour into a glass! Pop open the bottle or can in one smooth movement. Tilt both the bottle/can AND your glass at a 45 degree angle, and pour the beer onto the inside wall of the glass. Pouring a bit gently like this prevents too much foaming at the start. When it’s about 2/3 full, straighten up glass and start pouring down the middle, so you can start building the foamy head with control.


There are some special types of beers that need a little bit of a different pour because the bottle contains extra yeast, which was used to make sure it’s properly carbonated. If you can see sediment at the bottom of your bottle, keep an eye on that layer as you pour and stop before the yeasty bit gets dumped into your glass. It’s not bad for you, but it does change the flavour a bit. Only one family of beers are supposed to have that layer swirled into the beer and included in the pour – the Weissbier styles of beer from Germany.

Does the glass matter?

Yes, kind of. First of all, it must be VERY clean. Even glassware that seems clean might have dishwasher residue on it, which can kill the head of foam. The foam is important because it helps to deliver the beer’s aroma. It’s also widely agreed to be visually appealing. There’s actually a whole lot of research being done about the composition, formation and retention of beer’s head… just know that the foam is good, and you should start your drink with at least 2cm or 1in of head on a carbonated beer! When it comes to the shape of the glass, there are two points to consider. The first is that you should drink stronger bevvies out of smaller glasses. Drink responsibly! Sure, at the festivals and beer halls those German Festbiers may be served in a half litre, but at 6% alcohol that is actually quite a big serving of booze. Anything “Imperial” or “Double” also will have higher alcohol, so proceed with caution… Secondly, if you are going for the full sensory experience, choose a glass with a bit of an inward curve at the top. For example: a stemmed tulip, large wine glass, or even a snifter for the really strong beers. The curved-in lip captures the wonderful aromas of the lovely brew, collecting them within the glass instead of letting them evaporate into your surroundings. The taper also forces the head in on itself, creating a denser, creamier foam. The “Willi Becher” shape of glass is great for this reason, and it can hold a larger amount than a tulip or snifter… so it works really well for delightful standard-strength or session-strength beers.

Frosted or Chilled?

Please don’t put your glasses in the freezer. If there’s any water or residual dishwasher sanitizer on the glass, tiny ice will form and cause over-foaming when you pour your lovely beer. Also, if a beer is super-duper cold, the flavour and aroma experience will be dulled. Yep, your beer can be too cold! If the glass is definitely completely dry before chilling – not freezing – that would be ok for many of the standard pale lagers since they have very subtle flavours and aromas to start with.  Any way you sip it, take a second to acknowledge the brew you bring to your lips. Presenting it in a glass may help to appreciate that someone made that beer. Nice.