A good pour also accounts for the amount of yeast in the beer. Growlers are typically drawn from a full keg, and they tend to have less yeast in each individual pour. Bottled beers typically contain more yeast, so pay close attention that some of it remains on the inner surface of the bottle. While the amount of yeast in most bottles won't adversely affect the flavor, accounting for it when pouring will accentuate the taste of these beers.
Start your pour with a clean glass. If you've already enjoyed a pint or two, rinse out any oils or yeast left over from the previous drinks. Even if the glass is completely clean, a quick rinse will make the interior slightly slippery, reducing friction on the beer as it flows and helping minimize the head. This may seem like a small detail, but perfection is a matter of getting all the details right.
Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle and hold the spout of the bottle or growler right against the rim. Direct the flow from the bottle or growler so the brew flows down the side of the glass. The goal here is to keep the head to a minimum. By holding the glass at an angle, you reduce the speed at which the beer strikes the interior surface, resulting in less foam.
When the glass is half full, rotate it upright while you continue pouring. This should result in an inch or so of head, which is ideal. If it appears that the head will be too short, you can raise the growler or bottle higher during the final stage of the pour, using the greater impact to increase the height of the head if necessary.
As with all skills, practice makes perfect. If your pours aren't coming out quite right, take another opportunity to learn by enjoying another beer. Still struggling? At Rock Harbor, we're happy to share tips on getting the perfect pour. And if it seems like too much trouble to master the art, your easiest and best option is to let Rock Harbor pour the perfect pint of one of our quality draft beers for you!