Pouring beer is an art, and definitely part of the overall tasting experience. It is always suggest that you drink a beer out of a glass, and recommend that you read Glassware for Beer. It's a great primer to understating why, and a guide to pairing a beer to its appropriate glass.
The following demonstrates the most common pouring technique which can be applied to most beers and glassware types. You'll also find that most bartenders pour draught beer as follows too.
- Use a clean glass. A dirty glass, containing oils, dirt or residuals from a previous beer, may inhibit head creation and flavours.
- Hold your glass at a 45° angle. Pour the beer, targeting the middle of the slope of the glass. Don't be afraid to pour hard or add some air between the bottle and glass.
- At the half-way point bring the glass at a 90° angle and continue to pour in the middle of the glass. This will induce the perfect foam head. And remember, having a head on a beer is a good thing. It releases the beer’s aromatics and adds to the overall presentation. You may also want to gradually add distance between the bottle and glass as you pour, to also inspire a good head. An ideal head should be 1" to 1-1/2".