How to pour the perfect beer & say goodbye to bloating

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The way you pour a beer can have a huge affect on its taste, texture and the way your body feels after drinking it.

We’ve all heard the usual trope: “I don’t like beer - it makes me bloated.”

Chances are, that’s because it was drunk straight from the can or bottle it came in, along with all the carbon-dioxide containing bubbles that, once poured, would’ve given your pint that lovely, foamy head.

Beer writer and author Joshua M. Bernstein - a genuine expert at tasting beer for various publications - recently shared his tried-and-true method of pouring the perfect pilsner, pale or lager on the Living Proof: Conversations for Bartenders podcast. You can stream the full interview in the player before.

You can also find Living Proof on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

It’s not the first time Bernstein has spoken to the importance of foam on beer; he recently wrote a 1000+ word article about the stuff for The New York Times

So, follow his foolproof instructions from the podcast below, to maximise the taste and aroma of your next beer, minus the bloating.

How to pour the perfect beer

  1. Use a clean glass

It’s easy to spot a glass that hasn’t been properly washed - once the beer is poured there’ll be little bubbles sticking to whatever dirt or grime was left on the side of the glass. One of Bernstein’s pet hates is people flaunting their beer photos on social media, despite there being pesky bubbles sticking to the filthy glassware. Absolute beer-geek no-no!

Another tip is to store your glassware upright - base-side down - so you don’t get any of the smells or aromas that are in the wood or plastic of your cabinet in the glass.

  1. Rinse the glass with cold water

Before getting your beer involved, rinse the glass out with water. Not only will this jettison any dirt or dust particles, it will also create a nice ‘slip ‘n’ slide’ for the beer to glide down upon entry.

  1. Start on a 45-degree angle

Do you remember pouring your first beer? You know, when you just tipped it straight in there as if it was water and ended up with a glass full of froth?

While you do want to end up with a nice, pompous head on the beer, starting by tilting the glass on a 45-degree angle when pouring ensures you’ll be able to fill your glass without being hit by a foam tsunami.

  1. Aim for halfway down the glass

Now, you can start pouring, but make sure you aim for the mid-point of the glass. That way, at least some of those gassy carbon dioxide bubbles will be expressed on the way down and rise to the top.

Bernstein says, “You’re getting rid of those prickly carbon dioxide bubbles, creating a softer, creamier beer that’s more digestible and easier to drink.”

  1. Turn the glass upright

When the glass is halfway to two-thirds full, you can turn it from that initial angle back to 90 degrees, which, along with Steps 4 and 6, will help you achieve a nice foamy head, full of the carbon dioxide that now won’t be entering your stomach.

  1. Pour vigorously

Don’t be shy when pouring that last part of the beer - you want it swirling around in the glass to help build that lovely, pomp head. Like a snow-capped mountain.

  1. Drink

And enjoy! Bernstein says, the layer of foam atop the glass, “acts like a net, capturing a lot of the aromas and fragrances in the beer and preventing them from flying away.”

The result? “You’ve got something that not only looks good, but smells and tastes good, and slowly releases its scent bit by bit.”