Today, I became a bartender. Well, not quite, but I did learn how to properly pour a perfect pint of Guinness beer.
May 23, 2016
While visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin today, I was given the opportunity to learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. Not only did I succeed, but I learned a lot in the process!
There are six steps to pouring the perfect pint of Guinness. The first three steps are all in the glass that is used. Guinness had made their own branded tulip glass that doubles as a guide for pouring out of a tap. At first glance, the glass seems to just be decorated to represent Guinness and its logo, but it is so much more than that. The golden harp logo on the backside is actually a guide that shows bartenders (and avid fans) where to place the nozzle when pouring. The trick is to tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle, which can be perfectly done by aligning the nozzle with the golden harp. Then all one needs to do is continue filling the glass until it reaches the raised “Guinness” on the glass. It’s amazing how a design that looks so effortless can have so much utility.
The fourth step is by far the hardest: to wait. The head of the beer needs to settle for a minute or two before the bartender/whomever is pouring the pint can continue. The shape of the glass comes in to play here as well; it allows the nitrogen bubbles to flow down the sides and float back up the middle of the glass, adding to the creamy head on top of the beer.
Once settled, the beer is brought back under the tap, but this time the person making the pint turns the tap handle away from them (the opposite way from when it was originally poured) to allow for a slower flow of beer into the bottle.
Once the glass is filled, it is ready for the last step: the first sip. This was by far my favorite step. After this was completed, I was given a certificate stating that I had created a perfect pint of Guinness. Here’s to the many more that will come!