St Patrick’s Day: How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness

It’s St Patrick’s Day – time to pull out that green leprechaun hat and dust off the shamrock trivia.

With an expected estimated 14 million pints of Guinness consumed in the UK last year on 17 March, it’s no wonder why this holiday is so popular with pubs and partying crowds alike.

One of the iconic symbols of this traditional holiday is Guinness. A pint of the black stuff has been enjoyed on St Patrick’s day since its invention in 1759. But to really get into the spirit of the day’s celebrations, you need to know how to pour a perfect pint.

To that end, we chatted to Cormac Gibney of Gibney’s London, the subterranean bar in Shoreditch that’s frequently been voted as one of the best places for a pint in London.

Given he serves around 5,000 pints of the stuff a month, he knows a thing or two about the perfect pour. Here are his top tips...

How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness

1. Start with a 45 degree angle without the nozzle touching the glass. As it reaches halfway up the glass, straighten it out until the Guinness reaches just above the harp.

The official rule is to wait 119.5 seconds for your Guinness to settle after the first pour (Getty)
The official rule is to wait 119.5 seconds for your Guinness to settle after the first pour (Getty)

2. Wait 119.5 seconds for your Guinness to settle. Your patience will make it all the sweeter.

3. Once settled, push the tap forward, giving a slower pour and allowing the Guinness to rise to a perfect dome.

How to drink a pint of Guinness

Pubgoers are divided over the “right way” to take a sip.

Some “split the G”, meaning they drink until the top of the Guinness bisects the letter G on the logo on the side of the glass.

Others reckon the right way is to drink until your line is between the top of the G and the bottom of the harp.

Either way, approach with caution as each challenge requires a pretty hefty sip.

How to order Guinness

If you’re heading out to enjoy a pint, not pouring one, the best trick is always to look around you when you walk into a pub. If everyone’s drinking Guinness then you know it’s good and it’s not been sitting around too long.

If you’re ordering more than just a pint, order the Guinness first to allow the bartender to make the other drinks while the Guinness is settling (every one of the 119.5 econds counts). That way you won’t be waiting around after you’ve settled the bill for your drink.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a picture perfect pint of Guinness this St Patrick’s Day.