How to pour beer like a German

Pouring beer is more than getting the liquid from one vessel to another: it’s an art form, as well as a science that has its own methodologies, constants, and variables.

Of course, no one has perfected pouring liquid gold quite like the Germans, famous for their expertise in all things beer, as well as their stringency in, well, everything. We tapped a real live German — Sylvester Schneider, owner of German bar and restaurant Zum Schneider in New York’s Alphabet City, and expert pourer and drinker of beer — to show us how it’s done correctly.

Know what you’re drinking

According to Schneider, how you pour your beer depends on what you’re drinking. There are three styles of beer: lager, pilsner, and wheat beer (weissbier), and each is poured differently. It also helps to know that there are different wheat beers, some of which have more yeast than others. Schneider Weisse for example has a lot more yeast than Paulaner or Franziskaner beer.

Embrace the foam

“The thing with German beer in general is that you want a nice head. We’ve been getting this complaint for 15 years, since we opened, that we’re not giving people enough bang for their buck. But we’re very stubborn about this: if you don’t like it, go somewhere else,” says Schneider about the American versus the German way.