Ask anyone at the bars or brewhouses what their favorite beer is, and chances are you'll find that many people love the taste of Guinness. This popular dry stout originated in Dublin, Ireland in 1778 and, as of today, has grown to massive popularity all around the world. As one of the most unique beers on the market, Guinness has the distinction of being treated differently when it comes to kegs, pouring, and many other facets of beer distribution.
How is Guinness different from other beers?
Not only is Guinness lower in calories than most light beers, but its rich, creamy head and full-bodied flavor make it a delight to drink. A portion of the barley that goes into Guinness is roasted to give the beer its dark color and unmistakable flavor. While many try to guess what the distinct flavor of the stout tastes like, most say that it has a slight coffee or molasses bite to it.
How do I pour a Guinness?
One of the worst things a beer drinker can do is pour a Guinness the wrong way. A bad pour can result in a glass filled with head, poor taste, or a sloppy-looking presentation. The process of pouring a Guinness is a simple 5-step procedure:
- Use a dry, clean tulip glass. The tulip glass allows nitrogen bubbles to flow down, giving the Guinness it's famous bite.
- Hold glass at a 45 degree angle. The tap faucet that dispels the dark beer should never touch the glass, and you should never pour it straight down into the bottom of the glass.
- Fill it up three quarters. Let the beer flow smoothly through and into the glass, but stop the pour when the liquid reaches the 3/4 mark of the glass.
- Let the beer sit and settle. Because of the unique pouring process, the nitrogen bubbles flow down the sides of the glass and return flowing up through the middle. These bubbles help to create the creamy head that makes a Guinness special. The wait time is usually 120 seconds.
- Top off the glass with more beer. When the head is finished building, you can fill your pint up to the top. Now that you've poured the perfect pint of Guinness, drink it and enjoy!
What is so special about a Guinness tap? Can I use a regular tap instead to pour my Guinness?
No. Guinness is specially-formulated using nitrogen and carbon dioxide to create its special brew, and the tap is an integral part of that formula. Every Guinness tap is built with a five-disk restrictor plate that compresses the liquid passing through it. This, in turn, forces the liquid and nitrogen together to allow the creamy head to settle in your glass (after waiting about 2 minutes). So, it would be best to use the specialized tap because it helps to make the Guinness a true Guinness.
What equipment would I need to hold Guinness in my Kegerator?
Storing Guinness in your home brewing system requires some know-how and special equipment to keep it fresh and ready to flow whenever you want a cold pint. The following is the special equipment you'll need to purchase:
- Tank filled with 75% nitrogen and 25% CO2. You will most likely need a special nitrogen tank (that may not work with the regulator that came with your kegerator), but some gas companies will fill a CO2 tank with the mixed gas. If you have to use the special tank you may need to purchase the Dual Gauge Nitrogen Beer Regulator
- Specialized U-Coupler for tapping your Guinness keg
- A specially-built tap to properly pour the Guinness