This script is from the first season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at

Jim Koch, co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, the producers of Sam Adams beer, says that “Beer deserves the same respect that wine does.”

We agree, and how you pour the beer matters. This week on Beer Notes, we’re discussing how to best pour your beer.

You start with a clean, cold glass. The Brewers Association says you should never freeze your glass, but rinse it with cool water to ensure that it is free of all detergents and crystal clear. You should always pour your chilled beer from about two inches above the top of your glass to avoid contamination and any breakage from contact with your tap or bottle.

Start at a 45-degree angle so your beer hits the side of your glass about halfway up. When you have filled about ¾ of the glass, straighten it and continue pouring into the center of your beer. This will create the foam head, or crown.

You’re aiming for a one-inch crown. The bubbles in the head are created when the carbonation in the beer escapes, allowing for the aromas in the beer to be released. Since 80% of your perception of taste actually comes from your sense of smell, it is important that the aromas are available to you as you sip your beer. In addition, the gas from the carbonation can contribute to excess gas in your stomach if not properly handled and released. Finally, this head protects your beer both from excess oxygen and significant temperature differentials.

When you find a great beer, keep it cool, and pour it properly into a glass, you are doing your best to experience all the flavor the brewers intended. For Beer Notes, this is Ann McGinnis Hillyer.

Kristin Helf
Author: Kristin Helf

Kristin is a writer and picture-taker in Ocean City, Maryland. She likes puppies, pumpkin ales and watching movies for the Ocean City Film Festival in her spare time.

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