1. Choose a clean glass. (What kind? See DRAFT’s Glassware Guide, here.) The glass should be free of soap, lipstick, food oils, and anything else that may taint a beer’s flavor, and should never be frosted or chilled; the condensation will water down your beer.
2. Angle your glass (aim for about 45 degrees). Pour the beer from a bottle, can or tap spigot down the slope of the glass, aiming for the middle of the slope. Some beer styles, like hefeweizens, will form huge heads on their own; other styles (often those with high ABVs, like barleywines) need more agitation to generate foam, so don’t be afraid to “pour hard.”
3. When the beer is half-poured, stand the glass up at a 90-degree angle and keep pouring, directing the stream into the middle of the beer. If your head starts to grow larger than an inch, increase the distance between your glass and the beer source—raise the bottle or lower your glass beneath the tap, and the head’s growth should slow.
Posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010