If you’re not going out to a pub to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you may find yourself pouring a celebratory pint of Guinness at home. But how do you pour this famed stout correctly from a can? On draft, the perfect pour is part theatre, paired with the famous six-stage technique (Guinness master brewer Fergal Murray explains the perfect pour here), but the canned product is a bit different. Each can contains a nitrogen-filled widget, and when you crack open a chilled can the capsule releases a surge of bubbles, simulating a draft pint.
So how do you do it? Start with a chilled can and a clean pint glass (bonus points to those with proper Guinness glasses). Open your can on a flat surface, waiting roughly 5 seconds to pour (allowing the nitrogen time to surge into your beer). Now, tilting the glass at a 45 degree angle, begin your pour. When the stout is about 2 inches from the rim, straighten the glass and finish your pour. This will create the famously creamy Guinness head.
The proper pouring technique will help you avoid embarrassment in front of Guinness sticklers. And it’ll help you avoid the fate of Vancouver eatery Railtown Cafe, which published this St. Patrick’s Day promotion that was roundly mocked online:
—with files from Maclean’s staff