How to Properly Pour Beer

The best way to pour beer is by using a tulip glass. The shape of the glass generates head and prevents foam from forming at the top of your drink, as well as reducing surface area for oxidation. To avoid spilling too much liquid into your mouth, tilt the neck inward so that you can sip without having to turn your head

The “beer can pouring trick tiktok” is a simple way to pour beer without spilling. It is done by using the lid of the bottle as a funnel and slowly tipping it into your mouth.

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

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According to legend, St. Patrick was the driving force behind the conversion of the pagan Irish countryside to Christianity in the second part of the fifth century. Today, on the feast day of the famous saint (and, according to legend, the day he died), I’d want to convert you from sloppy beer pouring to perfection in a glass.

You may argue that it doesn’t matter. Isn’t beer just beer, regardless of how it’s served? That may be true if you’re drinking low-quality beer (I won’t name names), but it may make all the difference when you’re enjoying a superb brew. The scents and tastes produced by a correctly poured beer can only be found under the ideal circumstances and with the agitation of a properly poured beer.

In this little video, I’ll show you how to pour beer from a bottle, can, or tap, as well as the proper method for pouring a Guinness.

How to Pour Beer Properly from a Bottle, Can, or Tap

Whether you’re pouring beer into a pint glass from a bottle, a can, or a tap, the method is the same. It’s also the same regardless of the kind of glass used. Keep in mind that the procedure may differ significantly based on the beer’s carbonation. India Pale Ales and Belgians will froth up a little more than stouts or porters, so adjust to obtain that ideal “head” every time (the foam on top).

1. Place the glass at a 45-degree angle. 

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

Make sure you’re using a clean glass and pouring at a 45-degree angle.

2. Pour the beer halfway into the glass.

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

Begin pouring your beer, aiming to fill the glass halfway. Don’t be bashful; if you go too slowly, you’ll end up with no head and none of the flavor-enhancing fragrances.

3. As You Approach the Halfway Point, Tilt the Glass Upright

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

You’ll observe the head begin to develop as you tilt the glass upright.

4. Pour with a 1/2-inch to 1 1/2-inch head to finish. Man pouring beer into pint glass.

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

By the time we took this photo, the head had already softened a bit, but you’ll note it’s still around half an inch long. A head size of half an inch to an inch and a half is ideal.

5. Excessive

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

If there’s a lot of head, it’s because you poured too rapidly or not at the right angle. If the beer doesn’t have a head on top, you poured it too slowly or at a steep angle without tipping it upright.

Pouring Guinness from a Tap

Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray pouring Guinness beer.

Fergal Murray, Guinness Master Brewer

Throughout 5.5 million pints of Guinness are spilled every day around the globe. On St. Patrick’s Day, the number of pints spilled soars to almost 13 million. In fact, it’s believed that this one day accounts for nearly 1% of the world’s annual beer consumption. If you’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by imbibing, there’s no better way than with a freshly poured Guinness.


I got the pleasure to visit the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland, last autumn to witness how the famed drink is manufactured. It’s still in the exact spot it was when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for just $75 per year in 1759. (The site was later purchased by Guinness, but I had the privilege of witnessing the original lease at the tourist center.) I’ve been on a few brewery tours, but Guinness puts on a full show for its customers. It’s a combination of a history museum, an award-winning restaurant, and a bartending school (yep, anybody can learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and get a “certificate”). If you’re ever in Dublin, it’s a fantastic experience, and I strongly suggest going if you get the opportunity.

I had the opportunity to speak with Fergal Murray, the Guinness Master Brewer, on how to pour his labor of love while visiting the brewery. In Ireland, they take their Guinness extremely seriously, and pouring the black elixir follows a certain six-step procedure.

1. The Stained Glass

Guinness glass illustration.

Use a Guinness glass that hasn’t been soiled. This glass was created with Guinness beer in mind. Although it’s often served in regular pint glasses in the United States, if you want to do it correctly, use a Guinness glass. It also aids you in the stages that follow, as you’ll see below.

2. The Stakes

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

Hold the glass at 45 degrees, as you would with any other beer. When pouring Guinness, aim for the harp emblem on the glass rather than the middle. That’s roughly 3/4′′ from the top of a normal pint glass.

3. Pouring

Man pouring beer into pint glass.

Fergal is offering me advice. When pouring Guinness, carefully tilt the glass to an upright posture and finish the pour approximately 3/4′′ from the top, at the harp logo.

4. The Compromise

Two glass of beer.

This is what distinguishes a Guinness from other beers. As the beer settles and takes on its black hue, the nitrogen bubbles will fall down the glass.

5. Removing the Top

Glass of beer and the little bubble of liquid at the top of glass.

Top up the beer when it has settled (about a minute), by moving the tap handle away from you. Fill the glass to the point where a little bubble of liquid appears just over the rim. You may even try pouring a clover into the skull like a genuine Irishman if you’re feeling extra inventive.

6. Have Fun Like a Man

Half glass of beer and little bubble of liquid.

A man’s beer glass is never looked down into. Instead, Fergal recommends drinking Guinness with your elbow up and out and your gaze fixed on the horizon. Then you’ll drink your Guinness by pulling the beer up through your skull. Each drink will leave lines on the glass if imbibed appropriately.



The “beer pouring” is an easy process that anyone can do. The key to success is to pour the beer into a glass, not directly onto the tap.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct way to pour beer?

A: You should pour beer down your throat in one continuous motion.

Should you pour beer with foam?

A: I cant answer that question. You should ask your friends what they think.

Should beer be poured with a head?

A: Many people believe that to pour beer properly, you should create a head on the top of your beer.

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