How were you taught to pour beer? By holding your glass at a slanted angle and letting your beer slosh down the side of the cup, right? Many of us have been pouring beer like this for years. That’s because serving a beer in this fashion prevents a massive foam buildup. But what if we were to tell you the foam in beer is actually a good thing, something that you should be seeking out rather than avoiding?
We’ll back up. One of the best things about beer – especially quality craft beer – is the smell. Your enjoyment of a great glass of beer involves taking in that delicious aroma, and often, that can be found in the bubbles. These bubbles, which cling to each other, make up the beer’s head – what we know as beer foam. As each of these bubbles pop, they release delicious scents – everything from cookies to peppers and pineapple. So why do so many people deprive themselves of the fragrance part of the drinking experience?
Well, the answer is probably because many of us don’t enjoy the texture of glassful of beer that’s half foam. Like every other facet of the booze lifestyle, foam is something best embraced in moderation. So, how do you get just the right amount of creamy, delicious beer head? Believe it or not, some say to pour the beer directly into the center of the glass, but pace your pour in time with the foam formulation. Don’t pour super quickly so that your beer is all foam. Rather, pour patiently, pausing and waiting for a certain amount of bubbles to settle before tipping in more beer. In other words, pour every beer like you would a Guinness.
If by the time you’re done pouring your beer, your glass has a hazy, barely-there head or, even worse, no head at all, then simply drink that beer, and pour another, perfecting your technique – practice makes perfect.