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The perfect pint: How to pour the ideal Guinness




As St Patrick’s Day rolls back around, beer guzzlers from far and wide will no doubt be flocking to get their hands on a pint of Guinness. But pouring the perfect Irish stout is trickier than it might seem, with drinkers oftentimes left gaping at the horrors of huge frothy heads.

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The two-part pour

For bar and pub tenders, Guinness has devised a different ‘two-part’ pour to achieve the ideal draught. It advises that the Guinness Draught should be poured into a dry glass at a 45 degree angle until it is around three-quarters full. Pourers are then encouraged to let the bubbles settle before finally filling it up to the top. But this time, it can flow out in one single go until the bottle’s end is reached.

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Pouring could be faster

Despite this advice, Professor William Lee at the University of Huddersfield suggested pouring draught could be a much faster process that is currently ‘as much about marketing as it is the physics’. ‘As it sinks it carries the bubbles with it. So that’s why you see the sinking bubbles in Guinness with the small bubbles, which get carried down by the currents,’ he added. In a video for Tech Insider in 2018, he said: ‘Every Guinness is supposed to be poured into a specially crafted tulip glass. But that glass is designed to manipulate the bubbles in the beer to turn the pour into a performance, making you wait longer than you need to.’ ‘Now, it’s time to wait! Allow the surge to settle before filling the glass completely to the top, creating the perfect pint!’

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The Nitrosurge device

If you want to make pouring a pint even easier, engineers at the Dublin brewery have also released an ‘ultrasonic’ device called ‘Nitrosurge’. ‘With Nitrosurge, we’ve pushed the boundaries of technology to give Guinness fans an enhanced pouring experience which delivers beautiful, great tasting Guinness, every time.’

Why do stout bubbles “fall”?

Bubbles in stouts appear to fall as they are poured while those in lager rise from the bottom – but why? Recent research has revealed that stout bubbles ‘fall’ because of the drink’s traditional glass shape – which typically curves downwards from the top. This changes the liquid’s density within the glass as bubbles are shifted away from the wall, forming a dense region near the edge. This region sinks under its own weight because it is less buoyant than the surrounding fluid, pulling bubbles down with it.



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