Pouring a homebrew is very similar to pouring a commercial beer. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to maximize the homebrew drinking experience.
Many homebrewers do not have access to beer filters to make the beer sparkling clear when it is bottled. Instead, they rely on time and gravity to cause most of the sediment to drop to the bottom of the bottle before it is drank. You will find varying amounts of sediment in different homebrewed beers. It is best not to remix the sediment with the beer when drinking because it affects the flavor of the beer and causes the beer to be cloudy, thereby losing some of the visual appeal of a clear beer. Because of this sediment, you will not want to drink directly out of the bottle, but pour it into a beer glass prior to consuming. You will also want to be careful to not pour the sediment into the glass with the rest of the beer.
Sophisticated equipment that breweries use when carbonating their beer may not be available to the homebrewer. Homebrewers rely on tried and true methods that behave reliably most of the time, but minor variations here and there may contribute to larger differences in the final product. To cut to the chase: carbonation levels will more than likely differ between different batches of beer. Some may be highly carbonated, requiring a very careful pour. Others may be less carbonated, requiring more splashing to get a respectable head on the beer.
Follow this procedure and you should be ok:
1. Open the beer, just like you would a commercial beer. So far so good.
2. Tilt the glass towards the mouth of the beer and proceed to pour down the side of the glass. This is so that you can gauge the carbonation level of the beer.
3. Once you have poured a bit and have seen how carbonated it is, you can now adjust your pouring method accordingly. If it is foaming up normally then keep pouring this way. If it is not foaming up much, then you can tilt the glass back so that it is vertical, and you are pouring more into the center of the glass. You can even increase the distance between the bottle and glass if necessary.
4. Now keep watch on the sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
As you empty the bottle, some of this will creep towards the neck.
You want to stop pouring as soon as it reaches the mouth of the bottle, but before it is poured into the glass.
5. It is best to discard the beer and sediment that remains in the bottle. It won’t kill you if you drink it, so it is not a big deal if you make a mistake and pour some or all of the sediment in the glass. As you do this more you will get better at it. You will want to avoid drinking too much of this sediment, however, since it is mostly dormant yeast that can pull vitamins out of your body. Worse yet, it can give you a mean case of gas.
Now you have a glass of fine beer that is ready to drink: Cheers!