You've Been Pouring Your Beer Wrong All Along

Few things are more satisfying than a cold beer, particularly on a hot night, at your favorite watering hole, or simply as a refreshment when with your best friends. But if you find yourself coming away feeling oogy and bloated after a couple of cans or pints, it could be that your beer wasn't poured the right way. Believe it or not, there's a proper way to pour beer — and an improper pour can affect not only your enjoyment of the beer, but your health as well.

Master Cicerone (beer professional) Max Bakker recently talked to Business Insider about the mistakes many people make when they serve beer. The first, he says, is drinking directly from the can or bottle. "We always want to drink beer out of a glass," he explained, "because beer has a sound to it, and beer is carbonated." That carbonation, he added, is best released by pouring it into a glass, which in turn will make the beer more flavorful. 

The second big mistake beer drinkers make, said Bakker, is pouring beer so carefully that no foam appears at the top of the glass. This may look impressive, but it can also set you up for a lot of regret later on.

Pouring beer correctly brings out its flavor and prevents bloating

As Bakker explained it, pouring a headless glass of beer prevents the natural carbonation from rising and dissipating. If you drink a foam-free beer and then eat something, the food actually activates the foam, causing it to bubble up in your stomach as you digest. The result: Bloating and stomach upset. To prevent this, tilt your glass at an angle, then pour your beer steadily and "with vigor" down the side of the glass. At the halfway point, straighten the glass and finish pouring — this will give the foam a chance to settle into a nice-sized head at the top of the glass. 

VinePair adds that if you're drinking an especially carbonated beer variety such as Hefeweizen, it's okay to keep the glass tilted the whole time. But simply dumping the beer into the glass from the middle is just as counterproductive — this produces too much head and takes away from the overall flavor of the brew. Bakker noted that the foam in the glass actually serves a purpose: It allows the characteristic blend of sweetness and bitterness of the beer to come through as you drink. The malt in beer provides the sweetness, while the bitter flavor comes from the hops plant used to make the drink. CraftBeer explains further that the foam helps enhance the way we experience the taste, both through the texture of the bubbles themselves and by holding in the odor compounds that allow us to "taste" with our noses as well as our tongues. So pour wisely, and bottoms up!