How To Pour A Proper Guinness Beer

Between the two taps of Guinness at Joyce’s, the Eltingville tavern flows through about 80 kegs a year. Considering that volume, co-owner Joe O’Toole is well-practiced in pouring the Irish dry stout.

It’s as much of a skill as it is an art to present such a brew with its creamy head: it requires a six-step process and a two-part pour that takes about two minutes to fully execute.

First, Joe will tell you: You have to start with both a clean beer line and a clean, dry glass.

“Ice just waters it down, ruins it. You can’t have any chips of ice in there,” he said. And the glass itself is important, too.

There will be no Guinness offered in those straight-sided, traditional shaker pints, says O’Toole. But in a proper tavern there will be a perfect pour presented in a gravity glass. Under the best circumstances, that glass will be the brewery’s branded version, one that is contoured to show off its rich black color and creamy cap. It also helps measure the pour: the embossed harp logo acts as a marker for the first step of the pour.

Back to Joe at the stick.

more on