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How to Give Good Head on Beer

By Edited Nov 11, 2016 2 14

How many times have you gone out for a night on the town and been served a flat beer with no head? It can be frustrating. We have all made mistakes when pouring that perfect beer. There are many reasons that can cause this to happen.

How to put a good head on beer

Here are a few tips to improve your technique

  • Tip the beer glass on an approximate 45 degree angle
  • Slowly pour the beer down the side of the glass.
  • As it reaches half full, return glass to upright position.
  • Pour the remainder straight into the beer to create the perfect head.

Good head should be about 1/2 inch on top of glass. This will depend also on type of beer itself.

All beers do not produce the same head. Ales are very different to Stout. It is very important to know which beer produces more head. You can adjust the tilt and pour to suit the type of beer to produce a perfect head at all times. Too much head could result in loss of the flavor of that particular ale.

Some beers like the Stout are quick to foam. When pouring these you need to pour very slowly onto the side of the glass until half full, then let it settle before topping up? This will result in a beautiful head. Stout is traditionally a very foaming enjoyable drink. I hear tell there is a baby in every bottle. It is also said that stout is both good for you and your heart. Who are we to argue that point, it sure tastes great?

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Yeast Sediment

Sediment and Home Brewed beers

Some beers will have yeast sediment at the base of the bottle. To prevent having any sediment in your glass,  pour slowly into glass.  Keep the bottle tipped at an angle to pour the second glassful. This will leave the sediment in the bottom of bottle instead of in your glass. Although once you have drunk a few home brews you will not notice any difference, I know I have watch many drink straight from the bottles.

What causes beer to go flat in a glass?

I have noticed that my beer goes flat when drinking from a glass sometimes.

  • One of the main causes for this is a dirty or greasy glass.
  • The beer in the bottle is flat when opened.

If that happens return it to supplier for exchange or refund. If you can get away with it. Too late once its gone.

Possible causes:

Sometimes we tend to nibble on snacks like Italian sausages, burgers, cheeses or similar. As we eat the grease goes on the glass from our mouth causing the beer to go flat.

  • Grease will kill a beer head.
  • Dirty glasses- by that I mean a beer glass should be kept for beer. One used to drink milk from could leave a residual of this on the glass.
  • Always wash and rinse out with hot water if going to use for beer and leave to drain not towel dry.
  • Some beer dispensing equipment could be faulty and cause this to happen in manufacture.
  • Or the keg at the pub when turned on dispensing the beer through faucet could cause the problem.
  • Never hold glass too close to the faucet.

Home Brewed Beer

  • Home brewed beer could go flat because of dirty bottles
  • Leaky lids
  • Water too hot when you added the yeast
  • Lid on brew container not sealing correctly
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What to do when beer is flat in glass

  • Always use a fresh clean glass and pour beer into that
  • Add a pinch of salt and the bubbles will quickly return

Types of Home Brewed Beers

There are many great beers to make for the home brewer. We have tried many different brands although we found the Coopers the best for our taste buds. 

Depending on your personal choice you should try one of these different varieties; Ale, Draught, Bitter and the Stout of course.

By brewing a home brew you will save money, brew the beer of choice and still have a ready supply of cold ones in the fridge for any beer loving person.

Tip: If you are one of the lucky ones and have a spare beer fridge in the shed, then buy an old keg and have it on tap right in your own home.  I have seen many of these set up with the tap attached to the door so you do not have to even open the fridge.

Whatever type of beer you drink, make sure to Give good head on each glass of beer.

Silicone reusable bottle caps to place on the slow drinkers bottle so it does not go flat.


Nov 27, 2009 9:04am
Kudos to you for getting this article title passed! I was amazed. I do like your article on how to get good head on beer, too. It was quite thourough!
Nov 27, 2009 10:30am
ljbinkop, I asked first, as when my husband saw the title he nearly had a pink fit. What was I reading??? you should have seen his face. I did a keyword search and this came up. so asked whether it would be ok. and they try. so this article really fools the mind thats all.
Nov 28, 2009 4:45am
Like the title. It should attract plenty of visits lol.I have pulled the odd pint or two when I helped Hubby in a pub. Apparently I am a natural :)
Nov 28, 2009 5:00am
Yes i think that helps. I was not too good at it I gave it a go just in case my husband was going to be in a wheelcheer many years ago. But he came good so didnt last there too long. I was too shy and you need to be bubbly and chatty in a pub.
Dec 4, 2009 6:30am
eileen, I had left you a comment on Jcmayer's article, about this article....


it was in response to one of your comments....
Dec 4, 2009 8:37am
Thanks x3x yes I have just altered this thanks for your help you didnt say to change it to what size so did it as 2 in here. thanks again. I will wait and see what happens.
Apr 26, 2010 8:57pm
I love to make home brew and this subject is some what of obsession with me. My wife gets very tires of hearing about beer.lol Great article!
May 26, 2010 4:30am
dmcmahan, thanks for that. we bhave been brewing home brewed beers and spirits for 35 or more years now. got it down pat now. We use plastic brown (clear if run out)bottles as we take them in caravan when traveling saves risk of breakages with glass. They are 700 and 600ml bottles just smaller that a big brown. And great easy to handle and pack into boxes as well.
Feb 9, 2012 12:27pm
There is surely a knack at doing this, I owned a sports bar for 20 years, poured my share of brew.
Feb 9, 2012 9:00pm
Thanks Lynsuz, you have been busy commenting. Yes I did a bit of barwork for a country pub when my husband was crook. I was not the best at it mainly because I was too shy to interact with the customers. But pouring the beer wasnt too bad.
Feb 9, 2012 9:26pm
LOL...the title made me look twice. Being from Scotland I expect a head on my pint or I get a little agitated...great stuff...tweeted
Feb 10, 2012 3:40am
thanks inkedwriter, Just thought I would explain when I first wrote this article I was a little daring. I called it How to give good head" and thats why I got so many views. So decided to make it a nicer title. Hence the funny comments.

In Scotland do you drink hot or warm beer like in England? Thanks once again
Feb 10, 2012 3:42am
Depends on the beer...Guinness is usually warmer, but I like mine cold, except for the Guinness of course
Feb 10, 2012 3:49am
I just loved the Guinness and that definitely had to have a big head. haha
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