The Perfect Pour

 Learn How To Pour The Perfect Beer



Pouring the perfect glass of draft beer is simple and easy when you know a few basic tips and techniques.


The purpose of this article is to provide a quick guide to pouring the perfect draft beer.

Following the steps below will help assure you are serving and consuming keg beer at its best.

Step One - A Clean Glass

Two Clean Glass Tests

A “Beer Clean” glass is the first step to serving an enticing and appetizing glass of beer.

Test 1 - To test the glassware to see if it is “Beer Clean”, try wetting the inside of a glass with water, then shake table salt all around on the inside of the glass. The salt will stick where the glass is clean, not to the surfaces that aren’t clean.

Test 2 - Dispense a beer into a favorite glass, examine the beer in the glass, and look for any bubbles clinging to the side or bottom of the glass. Are there bubbles on the glass surface? Are these bubbles rising to the top of the beer? If so, the beer glass is not clean.

The CO2 gas contained in beer will leave the beer, and attach to a film residue left from a detergent, or lint, or other objects foreign to the glass. 

Properly Cleaning a beer glass starts by using equipment built and detergents formulated specifically for beer glass cleaning. These products are available from many sources and are available for at home, or for use in a commercial bar or restaurant.

Micro Matic offers a complete selection of equipment and detergents for beer glass cleaning.

It is very important to follow the manufacturers instructions for using these products. The procedures will vary from one product to the other. 

Step Two - Pouring the Beer

Tilt the Glass and Open the Faucet

To dispense the beer, hold the glass at a 45-degree angle about one inch below the beer faucet. Place a hand low on the tap, near the faucet, and quickly snap the handle towards you with one motion, until it stops and the faucet is open and pouring beer.

As the glass fills, straighten the glass to an upright position, and close the faucet by snapping it back to the closed position.

Positioning a hand low on the tab knob just above the faucet, is a technique that minimizes the distance your hand must travel to open or close the faucet. This allows the faucet to open and close quickly, which improves the quality of the pour.

Pouring the Perfect Beer requires a beer system that is operating at or near 38 degrees F, and is set up and balanced properly. Refer to other articles in the beer education section of the Micro Matic web site for additional information on beer system installation and maintenance.

Step Three - Enjoying the Beer

Head (foam) on the Glass is Imperative

Head on a beer brings out the flavor and aroma. Many breweries suggest that a well-poured beer should have a ½ inch (nickel width) to a ¾ inch (quarter width) foam on top of the beer.

Looking closely at the foam it should consist of small bubbles of the same size that should be tightly clinging together. As the beer is consumed, a lacing of foam should collect on the side of the glass indicating each swallow. This is the sign of a good beer, a clean glass, and is said to bring good luck.

If the beer foam contains large bubbles, or dissipates quickly this is a sign of a glass that is not clean. This may indicate an issue with the gas pressure applied in the beer system.

If the foam is excessively thick and foamy, this may indicate that the gas pressure applied to the beer is too high and the beer is over carbonating.

Pouring Beer at Special Events or Parties

Plastic Cups

When dispensing draft beer at a special event or party it is best to use plastic cups only.

Wax lined paper cups or Styrofoam cups should not be used. The inside surface of the container is coarse, or may have a residue from the manufacturing process that will conflict with the beer, resulting in excessive foaming.