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How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness

Posted: May 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ireland, Recipes | 11 Comments »

The highlight of my trip to the Guinness Storehouse was the “Perfect Pint” bar, where they instruct visitors on how to pour, you guessed it, the perfect pint. They’re very specific about it, largely to ensure the correct amount of the creamy head. I took copious notes (not really, I photographed the instructional poster), and here is the method as described to me by an official Guinness bartender:

  1. Take a cool, dry, Guinness-branded glass. The distinctive, bulbed pint glass is important. The traditional, straight-side glass leads to either too-much or not enough head.
  2. Hold the glass “firmly” at 45 degrees under the tap, logo facing you.
  3. Pull the handle fully forward towards you. Straighten the glass when the drink reaches the “Guinness” text. Stop filling when it reaches the middle of the harp, or about 3/4 full. Do not allow the nozzle to touch the side of the glass, nor penetrate the surface of the drink.
  4. Leave the surge to settle, allowing the creamy head to form. The head should be 10-15 mm high. The head is formed by nitrogen gas, released from the liquid by friction from a mid-line filter. It first runs down the side of the glass (hence the cascading dark/light effect), then up the middle. The gas, temporarily caught in the top of the liquid, forms the head.
  5. Top up the glass by pushing the tap handle away from you. Stop when the foam is proud of the rim (slightly above it). Do not allow spillage.
  6. Present to customer with a steady hand, logo facing forward.

There. Now that’s a perfect pint.

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11 Comments on “How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness”

  1. 1 Sarah said at 4:08 am on May 26th, 2010:

    LOVE IT!

  2. 2 Shawna said at 7:26 am on May 26th, 2010:

    Will you settle a debate? Do they drink it room temperature or cold?

  3. 3 Devon said at 5:09 am on June 13th, 2010:

    Hi Shawna, they drink it at room temperature. And you’re cool for having chickens.

  4. 4 Shawna said at 7:27 am on May 26th, 2010:

    By the way, I think you guys are sooo cool for doing all of this…

  5. 5 DonnaAnn said at 10:52 am on May 26th, 2010:

    The day draft beer results in too-much head will be a cold day in hell indeed.

  6. 6 Jeanne said at 5:52 pm on May 26th, 2010:

    A new job skill for your employment seeking when you got home.

  7. 7 Adrienne said at 8:24 pm on May 27th, 2010:

    Had a pint of Guiness after school today and thought of you guys…

  8. 8 Shawna said at 7:30 am on June 14th, 2010:

    Thanks, Devon!

    My chickens are doing pretty well, except for the one that was eaten by my dog. I had to clean up half a chicken out of my yard. Poor chicken.

  9. 9 RON said at 9:34 pm on June 29th, 2010:

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  10. 10 Ace Mudbone Sr. said at 12:31 am on July 3rd, 2010:

    Okay, be honest did you see any angels in there. I always thought there would be angels or something like that hanging out in there. Well drunk angels at least, guarding the stout, telling embarrassing funny stories about you that no mere mortal would know…. I guest it would suck at first, but the more stout you drank the better you could cope with the shame. I’m looking forward to you pouring me a glass when you get back.

  11. 11 james said at 10:35 am on May 23rd, 2011:

    Hey we like the pic – can we use it for our site?

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