Why Do People Pour Guinness Over a Spoon? (Solved!)

Guinness Black and Tan

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Most beer enthusiasts know that there are two steps to pouring the perfect pint of Guinness.

Starting with a clean 20oz tulip-shaped pint glass, you pour the Guinness at a 45-degree angle until the glass is half full. Then, you straighten the glass and fill it the rest of the way creating Guinness’s signature creamy head to finish it off.

Did you notice that there’s no mention of a spoon in this process?

So, maybe you’re curious… why do people pour Guinness over a spoon?

You need a spoon if you want to pour a Black and Tan. A Black and Tan is a beer cocktail made by layering a dark beer (usually a stout) on top of a light beer (usually a pale ale). Pouring the dark beer over a spoon helps to keep the two layers separate.

There are specially designed spoons to help you pour a perfect Black and Tan. This branded Guinness pouring spoon is one of many options available.

Guinness Pouring Spoon

Guinness Pouring Spoon

While a pouring spoon is nice to have, a soup spoon from your cutlery drawer is more than adequate.

How to Pour a Black and Tan

A Black and Tan is super easy to make. Here is everything you need.

First, you’re going to need a couple of clean 20oz pint glasses – one for you, one for a friend. Next, grab a can of your favorite pale ale for the “tan” layer. Then, you’ll want a dark a dark beer. I find that cans of Guinness with the CO2 cartridge work best.

Here is how you assemble everything:

  1. Use the pale ale to fill your pint glasses a little higher than halfway. Pour the ale quickly to ensure there is a nice head on it. This will help with the layering.
  2. Slowly pour the Guinness over the convex side of the spoon being careful not to let it splash. The Guinness is less dense than the pale ale so it will float on top!

Check out this video for an overview of the entire process.

Invite Some Friends Over

Now that you know how to pour the perfect Black and Tan, why not invite some friends over for a few pints!


Featured Image: Black and Tan via CC BY 2.0.

By Michael

Chief mixologist and cocktail enthusiast at Swizzle Club.