How to Tap a Keg and Pour the Perfect Pint of Draft Beer

Did you know that the flavor and aroma of beer can be optimized just by perfecting the right way to serve it? With just a simple pouring technique and the right equipment, you can make a substantial difference in how your beer tastes.

Whether you are a craft beer enthusiast, homebrewer, beer server, or even a brewery owner, you will want to learn the proper way to pour beer. By following these best practices, you can ensure that the beer lovers you are pouring for enjoy each and every sip of a perfect pint of beer!

The Perfect Beer Pour

Yes, there is such a thing as a perfect pour for beer, even if you’re just pouring from a bottle or can. The perfect pour creates a nice frothy head that can give your beer an inviting look and taste.

To achieve the perfect pour from a bottle or can, you need to have just a few things to get started: a clean glass, cold beer (but not too cold!), and proper technique.

Beer Glass

The beer glass you use can make or break your experience with the flavor and overall taste of the beverage itself. Make sure you have a clean glass, free of any dirt, dust, or soap residue that could alter the way your beer tastes. Your glass should be cool or room temperature, but never frozen. Frozen glasses over-chill the beer, reducing the aromas and perceived flavor. Additionally, pouring into a frozen glass can produce overly foamy beer. Using a clean, unfrozen glass will help you truly enjoy all aspects of craft beer at its best.

Beer Clean Glassware

Beer Temperature

The temperature of the beer itself is an essential component of the beer drinking experience. The colder the beer is, the more carbonation it will have. To produce a fizzier glass of beer, serve it cold and let it warm up for about five minutes before drinking so that all the flavors can be experienced. The proper serving temperature also depends on the type of beer. Different types of beer are best enjoyed at different temperatures, but in general, optimal serving temperatures for most beers are between 40° – 50° Fahrenheit. Want to know how long it will take to get your beer to the perfect temperature? Check out our article about how long it takes beer to chill depending on volume and storage container!

The Perfect Beer Pour from a Bottle or Can

Now that you have everything set up, let’s go over the proper technique for pouring beer from a bottle or can. The method for pouring beer is simple yet crucial to achieving the perfect pour.

The Perfect Beer Pour from a Bottle or Can Infographic

When pouring, hold your glass at a 45-degree angle. Ensure that you tilt the glass at this angle because this allows the beer to flow smoothly down the side of the glass to create the desired foam, called “head”, which improves the flavor and aroma of your beer. If there is too much foam, it can bury the flavors and aromas you want to enjoy, so the pouring technique is vital in maintaining a good head on your beer.

Now that you have your glass tilted, aim for the center of the glass, and pour slowly. Try not to pour it too fast, or you will create a lot of foam and lose all the carbonation currently dissolved in the beer, making it flat. You want to pour just enough so that it fills up about half to two-thirds of the way up to the top of the glass.

Once you have poured it in, level off the angle of the glass by tilting it back to a horizontal position and continue to pour the beer into the center of the glass until the glass is nearly full. Let the beer settle for a few seconds. This will give the foam time to dissipate and create a nice head on your drink. As a general rule, the proper head for most beer styles should be about two to three fingers high. While a nice head is visually appealing and releases aromas and flavors, too much head is too much of a good thing.

Voila! There you have it – the perfect way to pour bottled or canned beer and enjoy all its flavors and aromas at their best. So, the next time you’re hosting a party or just relaxing on the weekend, make sure to follow these simple steps for the perfect pour of beer!

Want to step up your beer serving game and upgrade to kegged beer? Here’s how to pour kegged beer from a tap!

The Perfect Draft Beer Pour from a Keg

Whether you are having a tailgate party or just enjoying a cold one (or two, or three) with your friends, you need to know how to pour a beer from a keg correctly. Not only does it make serving beer quick and easy, but it also ensures that you have cold, delicious brews available at all times. If you’re interested in getting into kegging, click here to see our Guide to the Pros and Cons of Kegging vs. Bottling Homebrew Beer!). Not sure where to start with kegs? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Beer Kegs: Keg Sizes, Dimensions, Weights, and How Many Beers Are In Each Type of Keg.

There is also a right and wrong way to pour your kegged beer. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be able to pour the perfect glass of kegged beer every time.

When serving beer from a keg, there are three main things to remember: what equipment you need, how to tap the keg, and how to pour the beer.

A properly poured beer has the right amount of head and enough room for bubbles to rise to the top – without having too many bubbles. However, this can be difficult if you are new to pouring beer from a keg, but you can use some tips and tricks to ensure your glass is full of the best-tasting craft beers.

What Equipment Do You Need To Tap A Keg?

First things first – how do you tap a keg? Well, it’s easier than you think, especially if you have the right equipment. The type of equipment you use makes a huge difference in how long the beer will stay fresh in the keg. Check out our guide to how long beer lasts in a keg and how to keep it fresh longer!

Before we get into how to tap a keg the right way, let’s talk about the wrong way. We do not recommend using a pump handle (sometimes called a party pump, hand pump, or a picnic pump) to serve kegged beer! Using pumps like this introduces too much oxygen into the beer, causing it to spoil as early as the next day. The only appropriate time to use a pump handle for serving kegged beer is when you know you will finish the entire keg in one day. Even then, we don’t recommend it if you’re looking for a quality pour.

For the best result, we recommend using a portable draft beer system like the QuikTap SS. The QuikTap SS is a fully portable, simple solution for perfectly pouring kegged beer. The QuikTap SS is the only beer keg tap with an all-stainless-steel pathway. The coupler, tap rod, and faucet are constructed of 304 stainless steel, meaning that, unlike complex draft systems where you need to worry about silicone beer line and hose clamps, stainless steel is the only thing that ever touches your beverage.

The QuikTap Portable Beer Keg Tap gives you professional performance in a portable package. QuikTap dispenses beer with a continuous supply of adjustable CO2 pressure. By preventing oxygen exposure, beer stays fresh and carbonated until the expiration date set by the brewery.

The QuikTap SS is available in several configurations that make it compatible with any commercial style keg coupler type, including the American D style coupler (most commonly used for domestic beers) as well as the European S style coupler.

The QuikTap comes with an adjustable, flow-control faucet. Flow control lets you dial in the perfect pour and serve highly carbonated beers. You can even serve soft drinks at high pressure.

How to Tap a Keg

Ideally, move the keg to the place where you plan to serve beer from at least an hour before you serve, avoiding excessive agitation of the beer inside to the maximum extent possible. Let the keg settle so that the carbon dioxide pressure equalizes all around the can. This way, you prevent yourself from accidentally receiving an unwanted a beer bath or beer shower by spraying foam all over the place when you open the valve!

Once the keg is settled, remove the plastic or cardboard cap from around the tap fixture on top of the keg.

Ensure that the regulator knob on your QuikTap is turned all the way to the off position. Next, insert a full QuikTap CO2 cylinder into the bottom of the regulator and screw it on until it is seated tightly. With the coupler disengaged, turn your regulator to between 5 – 7 PSI. Make sure your tap handle is pushed all the way into the off position and make sure the flow control lever on the faucet is turned all the way into the off position.

Insert the coupler into the keg, twist clockwise until it is fully inserted, and engage the coupler by pushing down on the keg coupler handle.

Once you have your beer tap in place, it’s time to pour a beer!

How to Perfectly Pour Draft Beer from a Beer Keg

There are a few nuances to serving beer from a tap that you need to know to achieve the perfect pour. Many people make the mistake of thinking that because it is served from a tap, pouring it is as easy as buying a keg of beer, hooking it up to a tap system, and filling up a glass. However, this is not the case. When you are attempting to pour draft beer correctly, there are three things you must remember: angle, speed, and distance.

The Perfect Beer Pour from a Tap: How to Pour the Perfect Pint of Draft Beer Infographic

Angle

To pour draft beer correctly from a tap, you need to hold the glass under the faucet at 45 degrees. This ensures that you are pouring enough beer without too much foam and preserves carbonation, allowing for an ideal head on your beverage.

The glass should be placed as close to the tap as possible without letting the glass touch it. Ensure that the flow control lever on the QuikTap flow control faucet is all the way in the off position, then pull the tap handle all the way into the open position. Next, slowly turn the lever on the flow control lever to allow beer to flow through. Start pouring slowly at first to ensure the beer is not over-carbonated before fully opening the flow control until a consistent flow is achieved.

While holding the glass at a 45-degree angle, fill the glass to approximately two-thirds full. At approximately two-thirds full, turn the glass upright and fill it completely, pouring into the middle of the glass. Pouring the last third of the beer into the glass in the upright position provides the perfect amount of head on top of your beer. After you pour the beer, there should be about two to three fingers worth of foam on top.

Speed

Achieving the perfect pour from kegged beer relies heavily on pouring at the right speed. Pour too slowly and you don’t release any CO2 and end up with no head. Pour too quickly and you will end up with a ton of foam on top of your beer. Make sure you always open the tap all the way by pulling the tap handle all the way back. Rather than partially opening the tap, use the flow control lever on the beer faucet to adjust the flow. Partially opening the tap will cause excessive foaming. If you’re getting over-carbonated, foamy beer with the tap fully open, it is likely due to serving the beer under too much pressure. To fix this, you need to adjust the amount of pressure on your CO2 regulator, which is connected to the CO2 tank on most draft systems. Generally, you should set it for 5-7 PSI for serving already carbonated kegged beer.

Distance

Distance is also important when pouring draft beer. The closer the glass is to the tap, the less foam there will be. If the glass is too far away from your draft system’s faucet, it produces too much foam. On the other hand, pouring too close to the tap can cause you to accidentally dip the beer faucet into the head, which is unsanitary and can cause contamination over time.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Now that you know how to tap the keg, hold the faucet correctly, and pour beer from a keg in an efficient manner – it’s time for you to practice! Luckily, practicing pouring beer is an awfully fun activity!

Grab a few friends and invite them over for a keg party. Not only will you get to test out your new skills, but you’ll also have plenty of delicious beer to drink.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be enjoying the perfect glass of draft beer before you know it.

If you need a portable solution for getting the perfect pour from a keg, we highly recommend checking out the QuikTap SS for a simple, easy, and cost-effective way to enjoy every drop to the last bit of a keg.

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