Bartenders discuss pouring Guinness

Sunday, March 16, 2014 5:31 PM
Last updated 7:17 PM
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Whether it’s shamrocks, the color green or leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day is heavy on traditions.

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Britney Head, a bartender at Tipsey McStumbles, says her way of pouring Guinness is simple. She pours half and lets it sit for at least a minute before pouring the rest.  DOUG STUTSMAN/STAFF
DOUG STUTSMAN/STAFF
Britney Head, a bartender at Tipsey McStumbles, says her way of pouring Guinness is simple. She pours half and lets it sit for at least a minute before pouring the rest.

Metro Coffee House


O'Donovans


Tipsey McStumbles

None, however, may be taken as seriously and argued over more than the pouring of the most Irish of Irish beers – Guinness.

“Everyone believes their way is best,” said Mike Anglin, the owner of Tipsey McStumbles on Seventh Street in downtown Augusta. “Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 answers. Truth is, I’m a Guinness drinker and I’ve never had a bad Guinness – no matter how it’s poured.”

For Tipsey McStumbles bartender Britney Head, her routine is simple: Pour half. Wait. Top it off. Serve.

“I’ll let it sit at least a minute after pouring the first half,” Head said. “That way the foam on top keeps from getting too thick.”

At O’Donovan’s Irish Pub at Broad and 10th streets, bartender Craig Paro also uses a two-part pour. He fills nearly two-thirds of the glass before letting it rest.

“Guinness is the only beer that foams downward, so it’s important to take your time when it comes to pouring,” Paro said. “You have to make sure it settles. This isn’t like most beers. Back in the 1990s, Guinness reps would come to Irish pubs and teach bartenders how to do it right.”

After his initial pour – where the glass was tilted at a 45-degree angle – Paro waited about a minute, set the glass flat on the bar, then completed the service.

“You gotta pull the handle all the way down on the first pull,” Paro said. “Then pull it backwards on the second. I try to keep an eighth of an inch of head on top and about a half-inch of black on the bottom.

“Like I said, though, the most important thing is to let it settle.”

At Metro Coffee House at 1054 Broad St., bartender Wendy Wat­kins said there’s no secret to her way of pouring Guinness.

“I just make it perfect,” she said.

Watkins did say the process of pouring Guinness is more detailed than most beers.

“It takes longer to make,” she said. “I’d say typically it’s a three- to four-minute process, but I don’t do anything extra special.”

Though the Guinness debate will undoubtedly continue, Anglin said one thing is certain for Irish businesses on St. Patrick’s Day.

“This is our Christmas,” he said. “Business-wise, we look forward to this day more than any other.”

MORE ABOUT GUINNESS

• According to Guinness, the perfect pour should take 125.27 seconds.

• The brewer recommends that draught Guinness be served at 42.8 degrees.

• The U.S. is the fourth-largest Guinness consuming nation behind the United Kingdom, Ireland and Nigeria.

• Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 from the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin.

• Studies claim that Guinness could be beneficial to the heart.

Comments (3) Add comment
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GiantsAllDay
9353
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/16/14 - 07:19 pm
4
6
Nice story. Britney Head,

Nice story. Britney Head, with a big smile, deals a legal (and dangerous) drug and the AC prints a story on it. I wonder if Britney knows that if she did what she does now, 80 years ago she would go to jail and I'm pretty certain she would not be smiling so broadly. Today in Augusta, GA if a cop catches a person with less than 1 ounce (let's even say 1/8 of on ounce) of weed, that officer will slam that person's head on the hood of his car, cuff him and take him to jail and give that person a criminal record.

ymnbde
9544
Points
ymnbde 03/16/14 - 07:42 pm
5
3
my goodness, gad

what an odd comment?
stability isn't that affected even after a few Guiness'
and if she poured one 80 years ago, that would make her about 102 years old, so yes, she probably would still be smiling broadly
and the officer doesn't give that person a criminal record
the weed gives that person a criminal record
vile weed...

GiantsAllDay
9353
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/16/14 - 11:49 pm
1
4
You never heard of

You never heard of prohibition, have you?

myfather15
53853
Points
myfather15 03/17/14 - 05:48 am
5
1
How hasn't heard of

Who hasn't heard of prohibition GAD? People with common sense can also see that a person can have a couple drinks without mind altering effects, period!! People can also see the absurdity of your comment!!

"that officer will slam that person's head on the hood of his car, cuff him and take him to jail and give that person a criminal record."

Been arrested much? Or just watch too much TV?

ymnbde
9544
Points
ymnbde 03/17/14 - 05:54 am
4
1
ah, gad, 80 or some odd years ago

weed was legal, too
almost every drug, including cocaine, was legal
and experience made it illegal
but you never heard of that, did ya?
Guinness, however, is art...

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