How to Pour a Black & Tan

Updated: How to Pour a Black and Tan – Take 2

My previous article told you all about What is a Black and Tan; now you get to see one poured for yourself.

Pouring a black and tan is easy. The basic steps are:

  1. Pour half of a bottle of Bass Pale Ale in pint glass
  2. Gently, fill the glass the rest of the way with Guinness by pouring the stout over the back of a spoon.

The real trick is to get the Guinness in as gently as possible and the spoon helps accomplish this by dispersing the liquid. Traditionally, you use the back of the spoon like the “black and tan spoon” shown below. However, I have found the best means to get the Guinness in there without disturbing anything is to have it trickle lightly down the inside of the glass. Using the front side of the spoon in contact with the glass seems to do the same, if not better.


20 thoughts on “How to Pour a Black & Tan

  1. Happy St.Patricks Day, Thank you for posting this.For years I would patronize my buddys Irish Pub fore he truly pours the best black & tan and now I am able to pour them eith the mastery and skills alike.Erin Go’ Brah

  2. Thanks. I’m sure Ron enjoyed the heck out of making this video. He never did tell me how many takes he needed to get it right.

  3. Went through a 6 back of both before I got it. After 6 tries, went to the internet, followed your video and taadaa, got it in one. Thanks

  4. We’re glad you found it helpful. Although, experimenting like you did doesn’t sound too bad, either.

  5. Glad you liked it. I get a heck of a beating on You Tube comments for not turning the spoon upside down. My mug was not the best vessel to show off the separation either.

  6. I tried this twice, and was not able to get it right. I used the large bottle of Guinness, not the Can or the bottle with the nitro ball thing… Is there a difference?

  7. I see you make the traditional Bass/Guinness black and tan. I’m wondering if anybody else has tried variations with American brews. I’ve tried a number of combinations. My current favorite pairs Magic Hat #9 with Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout.

  8. Try this. Instead of the bass use a blueberry ale. Its called a black and blue and its F’ing great!!!

  9. good tip but be aware that no self respecting irishman would drink bass with his guinness. in the future please use a delicious harp

  10. Where do I find that song,it is fantastic. Love the demo will be pouring many tonight!! Happy St. Patricks Day

  11. I was wondering about temperature…does it make a difference. I enjoy my beer cold, also would a frosted mug discourage a fine poor?

  12. REQUIRED: Guinness can Draught and Bass in bottle, 2 pilsner glasses and one table spoon.

    Pour one half of one Bass into each Pilsner glass, holding them at a 45 degree angle. You should pour with the intent of ending with a head of beer approximately an inch tall and evenly divided between glasses.

    Place glasses flat and open Guinness draught can. Hold spoon at low angle near side of glass and immediately begin to pour Guinness over the back of the spoon into the first glass. Quickly share between the two glasses. Finish each glass by pouring Guinness “up” the spoon by forcing the beer towards the handle and raising the can to get the Guinness to foam.

    I have had it explained that Guinness is charged with nitrogen and other beers are carbonated and that makes for the viscosity difference. Regardless, I have poured hundreds of these and I can get two, distinctively cut, Black and Tans or Half and Halves using this method.

    Maybe I will figure out how to post the video. I am old though and not that cool… until I pour a great Black and Tan and then everybody loves me.

  13. Black and Tans were ex-prison English mercenaries, sent to Ireland in a cobbled-together uniform (hence the name black and tan). They were a shower of bastards.

    Your ‘traditional’ black and tan drink is bullshit. It has no more tradition than the Marlboro man, i.e. it’s a marketing creation. This drink appears in no pub in Ireland, and anyone entering an Irish bar and mentioning the Black and Tans opuld want to keep a sharp eye on the door.

    I’m Irish: is Éireannach mé ón Ríocht.

  14. Hey, there’s a lot of crap on this side of the pond that people who don’t know better think is traditional Irish. And the Irish aren’t the only culture to be treated this way; there aren’t any fortune cookies in China, unless they’ve been imported there from the States.

    Whatever you call them, they can still be pretty tasty. >I< certainly never claimed they were an Irish tradition.

  15. Great article! Now I know the right way to mix up a Black and Tan. Thanks so much for sharing! – Calypso Bay, QLD Australia.

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