How to pour the perfect draught

Courtesy of SAB-The South African Breweries Draught Masters Guild

Pouring a beer correctly from a draught system is an essential skill – it is the final step in a long chain which ends with placing a cold beer into the hands of its thirsty recipient.

To ensure a premium experience, The South African Breweries Draught Masters Guild trains bar staff around the country in draught equipment management including equipment technical knowledge, pouring and serving skills.

“To date we have trained over 7 500 bar staff around the country with a 92% assessment pass rate,” said Kate Jones, SAB Trade Brewer at Chamdor. “This is done in the actual outlet to ensure we train and upskill bar staff in their own environment and on their equipment to increase their confidence to execute and implement what they are learning. Those who pass receive a certificate as well as a Draught Masters Guild pin to wear on their uniform and form part of the Draught Masters Guild.”

Pouring a pint is more a science than an art. “How you do it will either make the beer turn out correctly, or make it have too much or too little of a foam head. You could also end up wasting some beer.”

Pouring a pint is more a science than an art. “How you do it will either make the beer turn out correctly, or make it have too much or too little of a foam head. You could also end up wasting some beer.”

Here’s how to pour a draught beer correctly:

  1. Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle about 2,5cm below the tap. Grip the tap handle near the base and pull it forward quickly to start the flow of the beer. Always open the tap fully to avoid over-foaming.

  2. Let the beer flow down the side of the glass until it is half full. At this stage, and without letting the tap touch the glass, gently tilt the glass upright and pour down the centre to create about a 2.5cm head of foam on the top. If you have more foam than expected, let the beer rest until the head calms down and then resume pouring.

  3. Once the foam is in place, turn the tap off by closing the handle.

“Never let the tap come into contact with the beer or the glass. It goes without saying that the tap faucet should definitely never be immersed in the beer itself.”

So, the next time you’re in a bar or restaurant, keep an eye on your bartender and make sure he’s perfected the scientific art of the perfect draught pour.