Why you should always pour your beer into a glass
Beer already comes in glass, why would you need to pour it into another one? Well, there are a bunch of reasons why a well poured beer in a glass is more enjoyable than one in a bottle or a can.
And what we mean by well poured is with a bit of head – around two fingers is about right. This is the first reason why pouring your beer into a glass is better – so you can have a nice head on the beer (and why you need a nice clean glass - unless your glass is good and clean it will be hard to get the head right). Often in pubs you’ll hear people asking for their beer to be poured without a head – sometimes for the misguided reason that they think they’re getting more for their money. Unfortunately, while they might get a couple of drops more, they’re not getting the best out of their beer. As well as looking nice, the head helps keep your beer in the best condition until you drink it, by keeping out things you don’t want in your beer (like oxygen, which can alter the taste of beer) and keeping in those things you do want, like some of the subtle flavours and aromas from the hops and yeast.
The second reason is really important – drinking from a glass brings your sense of smell into play. Studies have proved that your perception of taste is influenced more by your sense of smell than the taste buds in your mouth – this makes sense if you think about how hard it is to taste food when you have a cold! If you don’t believe it, try holding your nose and eating or drinking something – see what we mean? Because the rim of a bottle is so narrow, you don’t get much smell – but if you pour that beer into a glass, you get the full aroma and hence the full taste. Swirling the beer around in the glass also helps to release the aromas of the beer.
Another reason is the carbonation of beer, and what happens when this ends up in your stomach. Beer in a bottle or can has a certain amount of carbonation in it – but when you pour it into a glass, some of that fizz becomes head. As well as looking nice and helping protect the beer, the head performs another key role. It help minimises the feeling of bloating or fullness when you drink the beer, because the foamy head is forming in the glass rather than your stomach! A great demonstration of this is found in the video below – you can replicate this experiment at home very easily, which is a pretty good party trick!
The last reason is the simplest – it looks better in a glass! A nicely poured beer with the proper amount of head is a thing of beauty. What colour is the beer? Is it light and pale, rich amber or red, or dark and velvety? Is it clear or cloudy? What about the head – is it gleaming white and delicate, or thick, rich and creamy? Whatever it is, you’ll see it properly in a nice clean glass.