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How to pour the perfect beer

Pouring the perfect beer is an essential skill. It is the final step in a long chain that ends with placing a cold beer into the hands of its thirsty recipient, and is a skill we believe we've refined at the SAB World of Beer.

Kate Jones, trade brewer at the SAB Chamdor Brewery in Krugersdorp on the West Rand, has trained bar staff around the country in draught-equipment management, including pouring and serving skills.

She believes pouring a pint is more a science than an art. "How you do it will either make the beer turn out correctly, or make it have too much or too little of a foam head. You could also end up wasting some beer," says Jones.

Here’s how to pour the perfect draught beer:

  1. Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle, about 2.5cm below the tap. Grip the tap handle near the base and pull it forward quickly to start the flow of the beer. Always open the tap fully to avoid over-foaming.
  2. Let the beer flow down the side of the glass until it is half full. At this stage, and without letting the tap touch the glass, gently tilt the glass upright and pour down the centre to create about a 2.5cm head of foam on the top. If you have more foam than expected, let the beer rest until the head calms down and then resume pouring.
  3. Once the foam is in place, turn the tap off by closing the handle.

A golden rule is to never let the tap come into contact with the beer or the glass. "It goes without saying that the tap faucet should definitely never be immersed in the beer itself," she explains.

Entertaining at home? Follow the same instructions for pouring from a bottle, and we bet you'll impress your guests.

Now, let's say "cheers" with perfect beers!

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