Pouring yourself a nice, cold beer after a long day is the perfect way to unwind... well, it's perfect if you know how to pour the beer properly. Do you always end up with way too much foam spilling over the glass? No one likes a mouthful of bubbles when they were expecting beer, so we have just the solution. Here's how to expertly pour your beer every time.

How To Pour Beer The Right Way

1. Rinse Your Glass First

a beer mug on a black background

Before you do anything, give your glass a thorough rinse. Even if it's clean, the glass may still have residue from the soap you used. That residue will affect the head of your beer. Your glass might also contain beer residue, which will affect the taste of a fresh beer.

2. Pour The Beer At A 45-Degree Angle

Once your glass is squeaky clean, pour your beer at a 45-degree angle. This angle will ensure that not too much foam is produced. The beer also won't splash back and cause a mess.

A few things to keep in mind when you're pouring:

  • Don't fill up the glass more than halfway.
  • Don't take too long to fill up the glass; if you pour too slowly, you won't get any head at all.
  • Don't pour too quickly, or the foam will rise and spill out of the glass.

3. Straighten Your Glass

a person straightening out their glass when pouring beer

Once you've hit the halfway point, straighten your glass so that it's upright. This will allow the foam to form without pushing it over the lip of the glass. As the foam forms, increase the distance between your glass and the bottle or can. Creating some distance between the two will help achieve a good head.

Additional Information

What Is The Ideal Head?

The ideal amount of foam ranges from an inch to an inch and a half in height. If you have too much or too little, chances are you mucked up when tilting or straightening the glass. Practice makes perfect, though!

What Does A Beer Head Do?

Aside from a nice presentation, a beer head gives you way more flavor. A good head delivers notes of otherwise hidden flavors like citrus or berries. Foam also carries a strong scent, which adds to the experience of drinking a beer.

How Does Beer Type Affect The Head?

someone pouring beef into a mug

As you can imagine, there are many different types of beer out there. Depending on what you have on tap, the beer's head will differ. Typically, wheat beers have longer-lasting and more foam. Some types with great heads are:

  • witbier
  • weizenbock
  • weissbier
  • hefeweizen

How Does Alcohol Content Affect The Head?

According to Live Science, the alcohol content of your beer also affects foam. If your beer contains a lot of alcohol (nine to 12 percent) or too little (three percent), there won't be a lot of foam to enjoy. The sweet spot you're looking for is around five percent.

What Else Can Ruin A Beer's Head?

a glass of beer with foam

There are several other things that can ruin your beer's head.

Unrinsed Glass

Dish detergent or beer residue can impede your beer's ability to foam.

High Temperature

An abundance of foam is sometimes caused when beer is stored or poured at too high a temperature. Aim to keep your beers at around 38 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.


Believe it or not, your lipstick will cause beer foam to dissipate. According to McGill University, this happens because lipstick is full of fat. The protein that strengthens the thin layer of water that surrounds your beer's bubbles and keeps them from bursting is sucked away from the bubbles into the fat. The layer of water around the bubbles is no longer strong enough to contain the gas, and the bubbles burst.

These simple steps will help you expertly pour beer for you and friends. Even if you don't get the perfect foam right away, keep practicing. Who's really complaining about having to drink more beer?

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