1601 Main Street, Vancouver

The Perfect Pint

Discover a timeless ritual and savour a rich reward. From Brewmaster Fergal Murray, there are six steps to creating a perfect Guinness pint:

Step 1: The Glass

The bartender takes a dry, clean glass -- specifically a 20-ounce tulip pint glass. Why? Because the internal aerodynamics of a tulip glass allows the nitrogen bubbles to flow down the sides of the glass, and the contour ‘bump’ in the middle pushes the bubbles back to the centre on their way up.

Step 2: The Angle

The glass should be held at a 45-degree angle under the tap. The tap faucet should not touch the tulip glass or beer. If you just hold it straight under the faucet, you’ll get a big block of bubbles and a fish eye.

Step 3: The Pour

Let the beer flow nice and smoothly into the angled glass and fill it up three-quarters of the way to the Guinness harp.

Step 4: The Head

Let it settle. On the way through the faucet, the beer passes through a five-hole disk restrictor plate at a high speed, creating friction and bringing out nitrogen bubbles. The bubbles are agitated now -- they can’t go back into the solution, so they flow down the interior sides and back up the middle -- but they can’t escape. So they build this wonderful, creamy head on top. It’s like an architect building a strong foundation.

Step 5: The Top-Off

Once it settles, you want to fill up the glass and top it off. You allowed it to settle, you created a domed effect across the top of the pint, and now your head is looking proud over the glass. That’s the perfect vision of the perfect pint.

Step 6: The First Sip

You drink with your eyes first. The cosmetic look of the pint is critical to the Guinness experience. We don’t want anybody just putting liquid in a glass. And finally, drink responsibly.