3. This is the key bit — letting the beer “Surge.” It’s often called settling.
It’s the annoying part, when the beer’s 3/4 full and the bartender puts it down to finish the rest of the round, or even take someone else’s order. All the while, your beer sits there apparently doing nothing. But everyone who’s ever had a Guinness or poured one has been told how important this is.
There’s even an exact time for it, which is 1 minute and 32.5 seconds.
4. SHOCKER… It is completely unnecessary to leave the Guinness to settle. Always. It has no impact on the flavour.
It’s actually a spectacularly effective piece of marketing that has become a cast-iron requirement in every bar throughout the world.
And apart from anything else, it delays getting your drink, FOR NO REASON.
5. During the 1950s, Guinness replaced their traditional wooden casks with nitrogen-charged metal casks, but customers were unconvinced.
Regular Guinness drinkers needed to be persuaded that the new stout was just as good as the cask-conditioned version.
Part of this was the two-pour myth, spread using an effective advertising campaign. The ritual settling and topping up was primarily to retain customer confidence.
6. The two-pour method had briefly been necessary during the decade-long changeover from wooden to metal casks.
The cask-conditioned stout would be topped up with the nitrogen-charged version to provide a better head.
However, this was rendered effectively obsolete by the new dispenser technology.
7. Some drinkers maintain that the two-pour is still necessary to produce the thick, ‘domed’ head as below.
Since Guinness is supped by pulling the liquid through the head, this is actually very important. However, a skilled bartender can pull the pint in a single go and still maintain this head.
8. It’s also possible that drinkers are so used to the process, they actually find the drink tastes better.
In which case, carry on. Though you will need to wait longer at the bar.
Guinness themselves stick rigidly to the official process, producing literature and working with bars and lifestyle publications to ensure the “proper” method of pouring Guinness is very widely known.
10. It’s very easy to see the influence of the myth. The 1 minute 32.5 second alleged “settle” time is actually the length of every advert that Guinness produce.
“Good things come to those who wait,” became a useful way to match up the brand image, the ads, and decision to make the delay part of Guinness’ myth.