What do I need to be paying attention to when I pour a stout and how do I tell if I got it right? Usually this applies to either "regular" stouts or chocolate stouts.

  • This varies wildly on the type of beer being poured
    – Tom Medley
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 21:39
  • @TomMedley I made it specific to stouts. Is it answerable now? Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:02
  • Yes, but Guinness is a special case.
    – Tom Medley
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:03
  • 1
    With Guinness, if you can see a clover on top, then you know you've got it right.
    – hunse
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:48
  • 1
    Non-answer: none of the beer landed on the table or down your shirt.
    – object88
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


Like most beers, the main thing is the height of the foam on top of the beer. It's largely a matter of personal preference; the only considerations I'm aware of are:

  • Bottle-fermented beers should be poured slowly and all in one go to prevent yeast from going into the glass (and, to that end, leave half a finger of beer in the bottle).
  • Unless it's an unfiltered wheat beer, in which case the yeast is meant to go in the glass. Also, hefeweizens like this should go for a little larger head than normal (2-2.5 fingers).
  • Or if it's a nitrogenated beer (Eg, Guinness with a widget), you should simply upend the can or bottle into the glass
  • Otherwise, most people aim for about 1 finger-width of foam. As long as you have at least some head and it doesn't overflow the glass, you're pouring fine.
  • Unless you want it to overflow the glass so you can scrape it off with one of those beer-scraper-offer things. I usually go for 2 cm to 2.5 cm of head (foam), which is about one thumb width for me.
    – hunse
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:52
  • 1
    Notable exception. Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:54
  • Good call; edited to add nitro beers Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 6:14
  • RIP Guinness widget (at least, in the USA)... we'll miss you always.
    – Ryan Kinal
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:16

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