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How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness!

After 40 hours from Auckland, via Sydney, via Abu Dhabi to Dublin, I traipsed through the cobbled streets, ducking and weaving past lively bars and cute boutiques standing shoulder to shoulder in narrow alleys, to the Guinness Storehouse. Well, it would have been rude not to.

How to pour Guinness

Practicing the art… (Yes I have humid hair!)

Yes I was knackered, but with just enough stamina to take a tour of the 7-story high-tech former Guinness factory with a central rotunda shaped like a Guinness glass (it’s now brewed next door) I dragged my cousin with me and we set about learning the history of Guinness.

Guinness tasting

And I mean a wee glass in the tasting room

It also included a wee taste in the tasting room after we had to guess whether it was hops, barley (malted or roasted) or yeast wafting from the dry ice but more importantly, I learned how to pour the perfect glass – and drink it.

I have a certificate to prove that I was the winner on the day, so here it is from the pro:

Pouring Guinness is a 6-step procedure and should take exactly 119.5 seconds from pour to sip.

  1. Take a cool Guinness glass, branded with the harp.
  2. Hold said glass at a 45 degree angle under the tap
  3. Pull the handle fully towards you (it pours fast!) and slowly straighten as it fills, stopping at the harp (3/4’s full)
  4. Stand the glass on the counter and watch it surge. It looks like a creamy latte. A head will form that should be between 10-15mm. No more.
  5. When the beer has settled and turned black, take the glass and top it off by pushing the tap away from you this time so you don’t get any more gas. Never put the tap into the foam, and do not let the precious nectar overflow, but fill it so the head rises just above the rim.
  6. Present to the drinker, harp side forward.

Slainte! (Cheers)

Guinness gas

Waiting for the gas to settle and form the thick head

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!