Fergal Murray may just have the best job in the world – he certainly thinks so. As the International Guinness Brew Master, it’s Fergal’s job to make sure every pint of Guinness that leaves the famous Dublin brewery is perfection. Presumably, he doesn’t taste every single pint – but nevertheless, he takes great pride in making sure that his beloved ‘nectar’ is spot on.
Fergal has poured pints for President Obama, the Queen, and more recently gave Tom Cruise a class in how to pour the perfect pint. But this week, Fergal is visiting New Zealand to share his expertise. With such impressive credentials, he’s well-qualified to teach us, step-by-step, how to pour the perfect pint.
Pouring the Perfect Pint
1. The Glass. Start with a clean, dry glass. Fergal recommends using a 600ml pint glass with the Guinness harp logo.
2. The Hold. Hold the glass at a 45 degree angle, point the faucet at the harp logo, and, this is important, never allow the spout to touch the beer or glass.
3. The Pour. Pull the faucet down for a nice, easy pour and allow the Guinness to fill the glass 3/4 of the way. You will see what Fergal calls the “Settle and Surge.” This is when the nitrogen is released, and you should see cascading bubbles form.
4. The Settle. Allow the nitrogen bubbles to surge until they settle, creating the beautiful creamy head. This builds strength in the head, which is critical to the taste.
5. The Top Up. Now that the beer has settled and there’s a distinct gap between the dark liquid and the white head, top up the glass slowly to create a domed effect, with the head “proud” (resting slightly above the top) of the glass.
6. The Presentation. Give this creation of the perfect pint to the adoring customer…or sit back and enjoy yourself.
There you have it – the perfect pint, straight from the horse’s mouth.