Instant Improver

How to pour the perfect pint

Can you remember the last time you had the perfect pint? No? Unsure what the perfect pint actually means? Keep going, all will be revealed. We recruited Marc Stroobant, expert draught master from Stella Artois to show us how to turn a pint in front of the TV to a drinking experience like no other.

1. Chilling

"It depends on what beer it is ultimately. But, for a beer like Stella Artois, it's between 2-6 degrees Celsius. A good home fridge can cope with that. But it takes a good 12 hours to chill bottled beer to the right temperature. If you know you're going to be having some drinks put them in the fridge the night before. If you’re in a hurry, the quickest way is to have an ice bucket, put some ice in there and that should take about 20 minutes to cool the beer to the right temperature."

2. The Glass

"The choice of glass is important, it helps with the carbonation of the drink, which is tied to the flavour, and it also has to do the with the aroma. Sixty to eighty per cent of what you taste is determined by your nose. The more aromatic the beer, the more round shaped the glass needs to be."

3. The Pour

"If serving draught beer from a nozzle, never put the nozzle of the beer into the glass, that causes cross-contamination, and it’s not necessary. Hold the glass at 45 degrees at the bottom - this is important because the more of the glass you hold the warmer the beer will be. You can make beer taste good or bad depending on how you pour it. What people do is they pour the beer and then squeeze the heads on top of it, this is over gassing the beer. As you pour, turn the glass to create a little whirpool and then we straighten the glass and then let it slightly overflow, and then we take our skimmer and remove the bigger bubbles of the head, and this is all to do with flavour."

4. The Head

Pour your beer and take a little spoon and taste the foam. You’ll taste the hoppy flavours, the bitter dry flavours of the beer. Once we’ve skimmed the beer off with our skimmer – only once because we want to have that round shaped head - we place a little drip mat or doyley at the bottom to make sure you don’t get any drips on you. Enjoy."

The World Draught Masters final taking place this October 28. Marc Stroobant will be one of the expert judges at Old Billingsgate where finalists from 32 countries around the world will compete for the title of ‘World Draught Master 2010’.

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