I almost returned the first tap beer I ever bought from a bar in Japan. About ¼ of the glass was filled with a heady frothy top. But I quickly discovered that this is how beers are served in Japan.

Japanese beer lover friends would tell me that this is how everyone prefers their beer. They even play on this in ads, with refreshed beer drinkers sporting a beer mustache. There are even certain types of beer which promote the headiness of their drink as one of its main features!

But it wasn’t until I visited the Asahi Brewery in Nagoya that this all clicked…

How to Pour a Japanese Beer

How to pour a Japanese beer, at Asahi Brewery Nagoya
DMC-LX3 (5.1mm, f/2, 1/25 sec, ISO400)
A good pour in Japan is a bit more heady than I’m used to…
Here are the steps involved in pouring a beer, Japanese style:

  1. Place a clean glass on a table. Pour the beer into the glass until there’s ⅓ froth in the glass. The aim of this step is to create the head.
  2. While still pouring, pick up the glass and tilt it so the pour doesn’t create more froth. The tilt makes for a smooth pour.
  3. As the glass fills, reduce the angle of the tilt slowly to a more upright position.
  4. At the end of the pour, place the glass back on the table and continue pouring until full.

This sign is from a table in the beer hall at the Asahi Brewery. After the brewery tour, you get 3 free Asahi beers!

Asahi Brewery Nagoya’s location

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View this location – Map coordinates: 35.213, 136.958.