Pouring a proper beer can be an art form. Hell it can even win you competitions as evidenced by my friend Brian winning the National Duvel Pouring Competition a few years back. Look at that sexy beast…and Brian. I mean he won a trip to Belgium for that.
Yes pouring the perfect Duvel is slightly different than pouring your locally brewed IPA but it follows some similar principles. The most obvious of these is the head on the beer. The head, or foam, on the top of a beer can be difficult to get right at first but it’s a task that even any weekend warrior of drinking beer should be able to master in a Saturday afternoon. Instead of me going into great detail and taking up way too much space, on a piece that will already be long enough as is, may I direct you to this lovely article from the Art of Manliness. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.
One of the keys to pouring a proper beer is to have a nice finger and half to two fingers of head on the top of your beers. This is where much of the aroma is held when you pour a beer. And of course smell is an important roll in fully enjoying a beer or just anything you consume.
What is really beginning to drive my mind up a proverbial wall is this trend of pouring beers all the way to the top of the glass with no head whatsoever. Who the fuck started this and why do you hate America so much? I say this because I’m assuming you are a terrorist hellbent on destroying our country from the beer community out. I mean let’s take a look at this.
What in the serious fuck am I looking at? Is this beer? I mean the bottle next to it seems to indicate as such but what’s in the glass lacks one of the typical characters of the tasty beverage that I love and make for a living. Search through Instagram and you will find pictures like this one all over the place.
Some might argue that the only pictures like this are of the “New England Style” IPAs that are all the rage right now. I’m not getting into those beers right, that’s a whole other piece that I could write. The claim is that people pour these beers like this because their color and cloudy nature makes them look like orange juice in a glass. Well I’m calling bullshit on that because I went through and found pictures of Imperial Stouts, Sours and even Lagers all poured in this ridiculous fashion.
Some of you might even be thinking, “But Mike, the Art of Manliness article only shows how to pour into a shaker pint and those glasses are terrible for beer.” While yes those glasses aren’t great for beers because they don’t allow for the proper ability to get aroma from beer even though what you are doing by pouring a beer up to the rim is the same fucking thing. Sorry for that run on sentence. Yes that article is about shakers but any snifter, chalice, Teku (fuck the Teku), tumbler (trigger alert), pilsner or any glass follows the same principles when pouring.
But then you might be saying, “It’s just a fun, cool thing to do and it makes my pictures look cool. And anyway it’s not hurting you.” Firstly, no, it’s not cool and, no, your pictures look beyond amateur because a good looking beer has a nice layer of foam on the top if it. And secondly, yes it is hurting me. When people pour beers like this and take pictures and show them to the masses it makes people get the wrong idea of how beer is. It smacks people like me and my co-workers in the face that work hard to create beers that have lovely heads that leave lacing on your glass as you drink them. I can only imagine what my good friend Kevin, head brewer at Barrel of Monks Brewing, would think if he saw a picture of his Three Fates Tripel poured with no head into a glass. We should all be thankful he barely uses social media and hasn’t come across this trend. I’m fairly certain the world would not exist anymore if he did. So yes it does hurt people.
With that can we just get back to pouring our beers normally, with head on them. It actually takes you a lot more time to pour a beer that carefully that you don’t get foam in the glass. That’s wasted time that could be used taking picture perfect beer snaps or just drinking the beer.