Every world traveler wishes they could be transported to the Emerald Isle for St. Patrick’s Day—that’s a given. While we can’t all be at a local pub in Ireland this year, celebrating with a delicious glass of Guinness is the next best way to mark the occasion. To find out more about getting the perfect pour of the iconic stout, the Go Ahead blog team stopped by Blackmoor, a bar around the corner from our North American headquarters here in Boston.
How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness
Start with the right glass
The proper way to enjoy this distinctive brew is in a branded Guinness glass.
Hold it at the proper angle
Before starting to pour, make sure to have the glass at an angle of 45 degrees below the tap. Our Blackmoor bartender Joseph explained that there’s a scientific reason behind this. “A nitro tap is used for Guinness, which means that only nitrogen is used as carbonation,” he said. “Many other beers use a combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide.” Tiny nitrogen bubbles form as soon as the liquid hits the glass at this particular angle.
Fill it up to the harp
Next, pull the tap forward to send the liquid into the glass at this precise 45-degree angle. By bringing the tap toward you, the Guinness comes out with just enough force to create those small bubbles. Once it’s about three-quarters full, reaching the harp on the glass, tilt the glass straight and stop.
Let it settle
Here’s where the old campaign slogan, “Good things come to those who wait,” comes into play. Let the glass sit for 90 seconds. Watch as the liquid inside the glass swirls and cascades, shifting from a light to dark shade of brown.
Top it off
You’ll know the drink is ready to be topped off when it has its signature rich hue and the head is about a half of an inch high. Set the glass directly below the tap and this time, push it away from you to finish things off. “This lighter flow of liquid creates the perfect amount of foam,” said Joseph.
Serve and say sláinte!
Your Guinness is now ready to be enjoyed. Around St. Patrick’s Day in particular, artistically-inclined bartenders may trace a shamrock into the head for a fun finishing touch.
Did you know?
While on tour in Dublin, you can pay a visit to the legendary Guinness Storehouse during your free time. Discover the history of the iconic brew (which dates back over 200 years), learn about how it’s made, and master the art of the pour at the Guinness Academy on the 4th floor. After a lesson led by an expert bartender, you’ll walk away with some newfound skills—and even a certificate to prove your knowledge to friends back home! Don’t miss a visit to the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse too, where you can sip on the stout surrounded by panoramic views of Ireland’s capital city.
Have you tried Guinness while on tour in Ireland? Have another favorite way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Let us know in the comments below.