The countdown to summer has begun, and what better way to celebrate the solstice than with a refreshing, Canadian beer? We lay out useful tips and tricks in selecting and pouring the perfect beer.

2020/06/20 00:00:00

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EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with an Expert

Sean Jackson grins as he wipes down the counter for the third time.

“Gotta keep it clean,” he says with a smile. “That’s rule number one.”

Jackson, a 21-year-old university student and part-time bartender, spends the majority of his weekends at a local Etobicoke pub called the St. Jame’s Gate. The Irish-themed watering hole, wedged between Kipling Ave. and Islington Ave. on Dundas Street West, is a popular neighbourhood spot known for it’s good food, and even better, its beer.

We sat down with Jackson, our resident expert in beer-pouring techniques, to uncover the industry secret in pouring the perfect beer.

Q: What’s the first step involved with pouring a beer into a glass?
A: It actually depends on the type of beer that you’re pouring. Lagers and IPAs are pretty standards but your cream ales and stouts, there’s different steps you gotta follow.

Q: Generally speaking, when it comes to all beers, is there a clear cut first step? Or do they all differ?
A: Most beers follow the same general steps at least. You wanna tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle, and you’ll wanna fill the liquid into the glass until it reaches just over a little three quarters of the way.

Q: Where should you aim to pour your beer while the glass is on that angle?
A: You should aim right below the edge or lip so that it’s directly under the tap, bottle, or can that you’re pouring from. It should be a small, light pour, that easily slides down.

Q: What do you do with the leftover empty space of the glass?
A: You’re gonna want to straighten the glass and pour directly down into the bottom once it’s over about three quarters full. Pouring down is what gives you the head of the beer.

Q: How much head do you want in a perfect beer pour?
A: I’d say about half an inch to an inch for perfect taste and aesthetics.

Q: What kinds of preparations do you need to do with the glass to ensure that your beer pour is perfect?
A: You’d ideally want your beer to be poured into its own branded glass. So Rolling Rock goes into a Rolling Rock glass, Guinness goes into a Guinness glass, and so forth. Those glasses are particularly made for the beer you’re pouring and drinking. Also, assuming you’re already drinking out of a clean glass, you’re gonna want to give it a last minute clean with some water before you pour. When you wet the glass, it becomes more slippery so the beer pours in cleaner with less sticking to the sides.

Q: Say I order a standard beer from your pub. A Molson Canadian let’s say. Briefly in one sentence tell me what you would do to pour my beer.
A: Branded wet glass, pour at a 45 degree angle and straighten up to produce a head

Time to pour!

Step 1

Make sure to pick a beer that has been stored properly and has been sitting upright for optimal results.

Step 2

When pouring the beer in a glass, make sure that you are holding the glass at a 45-degree angle.

Step 3

Make sure you are holding your beer at the centre point of the glass, too close to either side of the glass will result in a beer that tastes blander and end up without a head.

Step 4

Begin to pour your beer. Pour down the side of the glass as this releases the optimal smells and flavours of the beer.

Step 5

As you pour, turn your glass upright as you reach the mid-way point of your glass. This results in your beer forming its head.

Step 6

Finish pouring your beer. Once you finish you should have about an inch of a beer head. About the size of your fingernail. If the head is bigger or smaller than this, you have poured your beer wrong and your beer will not have optimal flavours.

say they can taste the difference between a properly and improperly poured beer

A Perfectly Poured Beer Near You!

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