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How To Pour A Guinness Bottle


by Chloette Bussell



Welcome to the world of pouring a perfect Guinness bottle! Guinness, the iconic Irish stout, is renowned for its unique and distinct flavor. While enjoying a pint of Guinness at a pub is a wonderful experience, sometimes you may want to savor a bottle of this dark and rich beer in the comfort of your own home. Pouring a Guinness bottle properly is essential to unlocking its full flavor potential.


In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of pouring a Guinness bottle, ensuring that you create the perfect glass of this legendary stout. From choosing the right glass to achieving the famous creamy head, we’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re hosting a gathering, celebrating a special occasion, or simply indulging in some me-time, let’s dive into the art of pouring a Guinness bottle.


Equipment Needed

Before you start pouring your Guinness bottle, it’s important to gather the necessary equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A Guinness glass: To fully appreciate the flavor and texture of a Guinness, it’s best to use an official Guinness pint glass. The shape of the glass is designed to enhance the drinking experience.
  2. A Guinness bottle: Choose your preferred variety of Guinness, whether it’s the classic Guinness Draught or one of the flavored options.
  3. A bottle opener: Ensure you have a reliable bottle opener to easily open the Guinness bottle.
  4. A clean towel or napkin: You’ll need this to wipe any spills or condensation from the glass.

Once you have these essential items prepared, you’re ready to move on to the next steps in pouring your perfect pint of Guinness from a bottle.


Step 1: Choose the Right Glass

The first step in pouring a Guinness bottle is to choose the right glass. While it’s possible to enjoy a Guinness straight from the bottle, pouring it into a glass allows you to fully appreciate its flavor profile and aesthetics. The official Guinness pint glass is the preferred choice, but any clean and tall glass will work.


The classic Guinness glass has a tulip shape, with a wider base and a narrower top. This design helps to accentuate the aromas of the beer and creates a perfect balance between the creamy head and the dark body of the stout. The glass is often adorned with the Guinness logo, adding to the overall experience.


It’s important to ensure that the glass is clean, as any residue can affect the taste and appearance of the Guinness. Rinse the glass with cold water and allow it to drip dry or use a clean towel to wipe it dry. This will remove any dust or impurities that could interfere with the pouring process.


Now that you have your chosen glass ready, let’s move on to the next step and prepare it for pouring the Guinness.


Step 2: Prepare the Glass

Once you have selected the right glass for your Guinness, it’s time to prepare it for pouring. This step is essential to ensure that the Guinness is presented at its best. Follow these simple steps to prepare the glass:

  1. Hold the glass upright and pour a small amount of cold water into it. Swirl the water around to wet the entire inside surface of the glass. This helps to chill the glass and create a smooth pour.
  2. Empty the water from the glass. Carefully pour it out, ensuring that no water remains inside.
  3. Dry the glass using a clean towel or napkin. Gently wipe away any excess moisture, being careful not to leave any lint or residue behind.

By preparing the glass in this way, you create the perfect environment for pouring and serving a Guinness bottle. The chilled glass and clean surface will enhance the taste and presentation of the beer. With the glass ready, it’s time to move on to the next step – opening the bottle.


Step 3: Open the Bottle

Now that your glass is prepared, it’s time to open the Guinness bottle. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth opening process:

  1. Hold the Guinness bottle firmly in one hand, ensuring a secure grip.
  2. With your other hand, grab a bottle opener and position it under the cap.
  3. Apply downward pressure on the bottle opener while lifting the cap. Use a steady and controlled motion to ensure a clean and complete opening.
  4. Once the cap is removed, check the bottle’s neck for any debris or residue. Give it a quick wipe if necessary.

It’s important to be gentle when opening the bottle to prevent any spillage or excessive foaming. By following these steps, you’ll be ready to move on to the exciting part – pouring the Guinness into the glass.


Step 4: Begin Pouring

Now that your Guinness bottle is open, it’s time to start pouring it into the prepared glass. Follow these steps to ensure a proper pour:

  1. Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle. Tilt the glass away from you to ensure a smooth pour.
  2. With the bottle held close to the glass, begin pouring the Guinness slowly and steadily into the glass. Aim for the center of the glass, allowing the beer to smoothly flow down the side.
  3. Continue pouring until the glass is about three-quarters full. Be careful not to overpour, as you will need room for the head to develop later.

The purpose of tilting the glass and pouring at an angle is to control the flow and minimize the formation of excess foam. This technique helps to achieve the desired appearance and taste of a properly poured Guinness. With the initial pour completed, it’s time to move on to the next step – the famous two-part pour.


Step 5: The Two-Part Pour

Pouring a Guinness involves a unique technique known as the two-part pour. This method helps to create the iconic creamy head that Guinness is famous for. Follow these steps to master the two-part pour:

  1. Allow the beer to settle in the glass for approximately one minute after the initial pour. This time allows the nitrogen bubbles to rise to the top and create a smooth and creamy texture.
  2. Once the beer has settled, position the glass on a flat surface and hold the bottle slightly above it.
  3. Pour the remaining beer into the glass in one continuous, smooth motion down the center.

As you pour the rest of the beer, you will notice the formation of a dense, creamy head cascading down into the glass. This distinctive head is a crucial component of the Guinness pouring ritual, perfecting both the taste and visual appeal of the beer. Now that you have completed the two-part pour, it’s time to let it settle.


Step 6: Let It Settle

After completing the two-part pour, it’s important to allow the Guinness to settle in the glass. This step helps to further enhance the flavors and texture of the beer. Follow these guidelines for letting it settle:

  1. Place the glass on a level surface and let it sit undisturbed for about two minutes. This time allows the nitrogen bubbles to fully rise and the creamy head to stabilize.
  2. Observe the mesmerizing display as the layers of beer and foam settle, forming the perfect pint of Guinness.

The settling process is an essential part of the Guinness experience. It allows the flavors to mingle and develop, resulting in a smoother and more balanced taste. Patience is key during this step, as rushing the process can compromise the quality of your pint. Once the Guinness has settled, it’s time to move on to the final step – topping it off.


Step 7: Top It Off

Topping off your Guinness is the final step in achieving the perfect pint. Follow these steps to complete the pouring process:

  1. Gently pour a small amount of beer into the glass, allowing it to flow over the top of the glass.
  2. Stop pouring when the foam reaches just below the rim of the glass. This creates a slight dome-shaped head, known as the “the proud head of the pour”.

Topping off the Guinness not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the drink but also helps to release the full aroma and flavor profile of the stout. It’s essential to pour with care during this step to avoid any spillage or overflow. With your pint expertly topped off, it’s time to serve and enjoy your pint of Guinness!


Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

Congratulations! You have successfully poured a perfect Guinness bottle. Now it’s time to savor the fruits of your labor. Here are some tips on serving and enjoying your pint of Guinness:

  1. Hold the glass by the stem or near the base to maintain its temperature and prevent any unnecessary warming.
  2. Take a moment to appreciate the appearance of your pint. The deep, dark body contrasts beautifully with the creamy white head.
  3. Before taking your first sip, take a moment to inhale the aroma. You’ll notice the rich roasted notes and subtle hints of coffee and chocolate.
  4. Now, bring the glass to your lips and take a slow, deliberate sip, allowing the flavors to envelop your palate. The creamy mouthfeel and complex flavors will leave you wanting more.
  5. Continue to enjoy your pint of Guinness at a leisurely pace, savoring the unique blend of flavors with each sip.

Whether you’re enjoying a pint on your own or sharing it with friends, the experience of pouring and drinking a Guinness bottle is something to be savored. Cheers to a job well done and to the enjoyment of this iconic beer!



Pouring a Guinness bottle is an art form that requires attention to detail and a little bit of practice. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can master the art of pouring a perfect pint of Guinness in the comfort of your own home. From choosing the right glass and preparing it to the precise pouring technique and letting the beer settle, each step contributes to the overall experience.


The ritual of pouring a Guinness bottle not only enhances the taste and aroma but also adds to the visual appeal. The cascading effect of the creamy head and the distinct layers of dark beer create a visually stunning pint that is a delight to behold. Taking the time to properly pour and serve a Guinness bottle ensures that you can fully appreciate the unique characteristics of this renowned stout.


So, the next time you find yourself craving a pint of Guinness, grab a bottle, follow these steps, and enjoy the satisfaction of pouring and savoring your own perfectly poured pint. Whether you’re indulging in some relaxation time, hosting an intimate gathering, or celebrating a special occasion, the art of pouring a Guinness bottle adds an extra touch of elegance and sophistication to any drinking experience.


Cheers to the perfect pour – savor the velvety smoothness, delight in the rich flavors, and raise a glass to the timeless tradition of Guinness.