Most casual beer drinkers don’t realise, but there’s a right and a wrong way to consume a Guinness.
We met with Mark McGovern, the Executive Guinness Storehouse Ambassador, who showed us the proper way to pour and drink Ireland’s favourite beer.
Guinness was founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness in Dublin. The original recipe, now called Guinness Extra Stout, isn't the most popular variety, but Guinness still brews and sells it today.
Guinness primarily does its tastings at the Storehouse in Dublin, still in its original location. It's the #1 tourist destination in the country, drawing millions of visitors a year.
The Storehouse was originally used by Arthur Guinness as a fermentation area, but when it reopened in 2000 the company made it into a visitor center and the site of Guinness Academy, where people learn the right way to pour a Guinness.
There are many varieties of Guinness, but only one right way to pour. Guinness is known for the minuscule nitrogen bubbles that carbonate the beer and give it a smooth, creamy texture.
This is owed to a tiny plastic ball widget inside the can that releases gas when the can is opened. It's also why you hear a unique hiss when opening Guinness cans.
There are 6 steps to pouring a Guinness. Start with a dry, clean, cold glass, and hold it at a 45-degree angle to the tap.
Since we didn't have a tap available here, McGovern demonstrated by using the can. As you pour, pull the tap handle towards you, slowly straightening the glass as it fills up.
Stop pouring when the beer is near the top, and set the glass down. If you're pouring a Guinness the right way, you need to let the pint settle. That creamy, brown colour you get before it settles is called the 'surge.'
McGovern says it takes about two minutes for it to fully settle -- 119.5 seconds, to be exact. The beer will start to darken, and the head will start to form. Now you can return the beer to the tap, finishing the pour by pushing the tap handle away from you this time.
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