How to pour a perfect pint of beer? And does the pouring affect the taste? Read on to find out.
Only 8 people worldwide were selected to undergo intensive training in Amsterdam, the birthplace of Heineken, to become appointed draught master. Among the 8 people stands Frank Yu (pictured left, posing with a skimmer, the most useful tool for a draught master). And that night, he unreservedly taught us all. Being the good student that we are, we took notes. Here they are.
Factors that Influence the Taste of Beer
1. Amount of foam (also known as head). It is not true that the lesser the foam, the better. The foam helps to cap in the flavors, making the beer fragrant, retaining the coldness and fizziness. You must have the right amount of foam. How much is enough? Read on.
2. Temperature of beer. Needless to say, this is important especially in Singapore’s climate.
3. Dirty glass. Sediments in beer change the taste.
4. Presentation. Not as trivial as it seems, 60% of the people say that they believe a beer to be of a higher quality if it is served in its own glass and on a coaster with its logo.
How to Pour a Perfect Beer
1. If you’re using a machine, always pour a first glass as reference to familiarize yourself with the machine.
2. Rinse the glass with the water jet (shown above). This will clean and lower the temperature of the glass.
3. Pour, the most difficult part. On every beer glass, there is an indentation called the eclipse line. Tilt the glass at 45-degree to the nozzle of the tap so that the eclipse line is parallel to the ground level. (Note: the nozzle isn’t touching the glass, so if you’re pouring from a beer bottle, your bottle shouldn’t touch the glass too.) As the level of beer reaches the eclipse, slowly straighten the glass. Let the beer overflow slightly.
4. Skim (shown above). Remember the skimmer Frank is holding in the first photo of this entry? Put the skimmer at 45-degrees to the top of the glass and quickly skim off the top foam.
5. Let the foam settle a bit and check.
6. Serve. Place the coaster with the logo facing the customer and place the glass with the logo facing the customer. That’s a standardized Heineken pour.
We had a chance to try for ourselves and it’s not as simple as it looks! None of us managed the perfect pour.
Derrick of SG Food on Food had a go.
So did Ms Skinny Fat, who, as you can see, is all skinny, no fats. False advertising!!!
To beautify our site a bit, we include a gratuitous pic of a hot angmoh who is Chrispytine’s plus-two. (The angmoh brought his hot brother along.)
To make things difficult for Draught Master Frank, we requested him to pour us a perfect pour to taste if there was any difference. He was so serious but a serious man at work is always sexy.
This was the almost perfect pour. The perfect pour is supposed to have the foam touch the shoulder of the star, meaning about 2cm of foam. Frank missed by 2mm because the barrel ran out and a new barrel was replaced. New barrel means that air has to be let out and so it’s difficult to gauge how the foam reacts.
Is the taste of the perfect pour different? Ms Atas (my plus-one) and I compared Frank’s beer to our own and we both agreed that Frank’s beer was sweeter, retained coldness for a longer time and fizzier. Without a doubt, his beer was more superior and smoother than ours even though they are both Heineken. Strange how a seemingly insignificant act could affect so much. Kinda like the Butterfly Effect: a butterfly flaps its wings and causes a tornado in another part of the world.
PS: Thank you, Sheena, Frank, Felicia, Tracy, Allan and Heineken for this educational event.