Do You Need To Rest Your Beer After Pouring It?

If you are a big lover of beer, then you may be interested in learning more about the specifics of the beverage, including the best ways to enjoy it. For instance, does beer need to rest after it's poured? To find out, Tasting Table spoke with an expert: Jeff Tyler, the co-owner and head brewer at Spice Trade Brewery + Kitchen in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

According to Tyler, the short answer is no. However, there are some nitrogen beers (also known as "nitro" beer) that may require a rest mid-pour, such as Guinness. Tyler explained, "[They] typically have a longer resting period in the middle of the pour as the head subsides." Additionally, if you pour your beer straight into a glass without tilting the glass while you pour (which is known as a "hard pour"), you may have to wait while the foam subsides, although that is a bit different than the actual rest that the nitro beers require.

Tyler continued, "Once your beer is properly poured, you are good to start drinking it! I prefer to let most of the beers I drink warm up slightly to maximize the flavors that you can perceive. You can do this by just waiting or cupping your hands around the glass to warm it up using your body heat."

What is the best way to pour beer?

When it comes to pouring your own beer, you'll likely be pouring a forced-carbonation beer, which is the type that makes up about 95% of the beer found in liquor stores and supermarkets. Pouring this type of beer is pretty straightforward. Tyler explained, "You typically want to pour the beer a bit more aggressively than you would think, directly into the bottom of the glass or with the glass at a slight angle. The goal here is to allow a good amount of the CO2 to 'break out' of solution (i.e. get foamy) while you are pouring."

He added that you don't have to pour the entire beer all in one go; you can pause for a moment to let the foam settle before continuing with the pour. When you finish the pour, you can do so more gently. This method should lead to the ideal amount of foam at the top of the beer: about one to two fingers of foam.

The aggressive pour will lead to the best beer-drinking experience. Tyler said, "You really don't want all of those bubbles staying in the beer because they'll end up in your stomach and you'll end up burping it all out. Less CO2 means you still get the aroma that you are looking for with some of the bubbles but it saves you from filling your whole stomach with beer foam."