The Canned Guinness Hack That Promises A Perfectly Poured Pint Every Time

In the beer industry, it's easy to get lost in the crowd. Refrigerated cases and long aisles are filled with funky wrapped four packs, tall boys that pour like champagne, and the OGs like grandpa's beloved Pabst Blue Ribbon. Forty years ago, there were 49 breweries in the United States. In 2021, there were 13,380 breweries, with 1,524 of them in California alone — 31 times more than the entire country had in 1983.

Although a majority of all beer consumed is domestic (81%), beer-drinking Americans consume almost 5 gallons of imported beer each year. Among the list of 100 international brands is one of the oldest, Guinness. The 264-year-old company has produced its signature inky dark beer since 1759 in Dublin, Ireland.

The harp-logo Guinness stout, the official national emblem of Ireland, is described as having "hints of roasted coffee and chocolate" with a balanced but bitter taste. Although Guinness appears dark brown, the company will point out that it's a "dark ruby red." Bartenders are trained to pour a pint of Guinness Draught properly using the company's "two-part" pour.

While it may take longer than serving a vodka soda (with two limes, please), a Guinness Draught should initially be filled only three-quarters full, tilting the glass at 45 degrees. Once the head has settled, the glass can be filled to the brim. For those of us looking to enjoy a pint at home, there is a method for pouring the perfect pint of Guinness from a can.

The hard pour

Until 1989, Guinness drinkers were concerned that drinking stout from a can would be a subpar draught experience. To replicate the velvety texture of draught beer, Guinness invented a widget that provides "nitrogenation" when the can is opened. The small nitrogen-filled plastic ball is activated when the can is opened, releasing a "magic surge of bubbles."

To further perfect the drinking experience, Guinness' global head of quality suggests two pouring methods for draught-like quality at home, the soft and hard pour. The soft pour utilizes their "two-part" pour, tilting the can 45 degrees and allowing the beer to slide down the side of the glass. The hard pour is a bit more rockstar and quicker. A pint glass is inverted on top of an open can of Guinness. In a swift motion, the entire thing is flipped 180 degrees, keeping the can straight up and down. The can is slowly lifted as the glass fills until the beer reaches the brim.

While Guinness sanctions those methods, TikTok loves the dart-wielding stout drinker who promises his approach is the perfect pour. Similar to the hard pour, a can of Guinness is inverted into a pint glass. Just as the beer starts to flow, the side of the can is punctured with a dart (although anything sharp will do). The hole allows air to surge into the can, forcing the beer out in seconds, producing the perfect head of beer. For those familiar with shotgunning beer, this is similar.