Would you like to pull the perfect pint everytime? Whether you’re a bartender or using a kegerator at home, this guide will have serving pints like a pro. Your pouring technique is crucial not only to the presentation of the beer but also the taste. Let London’s lager experts show you how! 


Your glassware must be CLEAN and in the best condition possible. This is achieved by using the correct glassware for the product and by ensuring the glasswasher is:

  1. Dosing the correct amount of chemicals
  2. Has a soft water supply
  3. Has a renovate cycle once per week

Note: To check, observe whether lacing has been left down an empty glass of beer.

If oil, deposits or the wrong mix of cleaner is present there won't be any lacing. If you have a glass refresher, use it every time and avoid reusing the same glass.

Never use a glass that is still hot after being cleaned.


The first thing you need to know is the type of tap you are pouring from. There are two main types:

  • Freeflow
  • Compensator

Regardless of the type of tap, if this is the first pour of the day of that particular line, pour away the first bit of stale beer. Always check that the beer is being stored and served at the correct temperature. Lagers and keg beers should be served between 5-8°C. 

Pouring the perfect pint with a free flow tap:

  1. With a free flow tap start by pulling the handle all the way down towards you in one smooth motion.
  2. Angle the glass at 45 degrees and allow the beer to fill at a pace of around 15-20 seconds for a pint. If you fill too fast you will get fobbing and too slow means the customer is left waiting unnecessarily. 
  3. As it starts to fill up you can slowly straighten the glass to an upright position. Bring the nozzle up out of the glass as it fills. Never allow the nozzle of the tap to dip into the beer- it’s unhygienic. 
  4. Once you have almost finished pouring the pint, if you feel you need a bit more head on the beer, push the handle of the tap away from you and this will create a nice amount of foam to finish the pint off.

Pouring the perfect pint with a compensator tap:

  1. With the compensator tap the area of travel is much narrower compared to a free flow tap. Pull the tap fully towards you.
  2. Hold the glass at 45 degrees and aim for a 15-20 second pour. The pour should be done smoothly and gently.
  3. Straighten the glass to an upright position as it fills. Bring the nozzle up out of the glass.
  4. The tap can be pushed away from you at the end if you need to top up the head. 

Note: Always keep your hands away from the upper most portion of the glass. This is where customers will place their mouth to drink from. The same applies when passing a customer their drink.


The final part of the pour is particularly important so let’s recap the finish. When the glass gets to around half full start to tilt the glass to a vertical position and continue to pour into the centre of the glass. This will allow the head to form. This is an important step as a good head will protect the beer from oxidation and continue to taste fresh whilst it's drunk. Don't move the glass up and down or hold the glass too low from the tap to help form a head. If everything is set up correctly, the head will form naturally.  A good head is somewhere between 2-3 cm. If you need to top up the head, push the faucet handle backwards at the end of the pour. 

And, there you have it! Now you know the trade secrets to pouring the perfect pint of beer! 

Do you require support for your existing or future draught set up? When you work with Pillars Brewery you get so much more than just lager! We also offer an extensive range of free support services, including installations, cellar services, training for staff and use of our mobile bars. Have a chat with one of our team to find out more about how we can work together.