How NOT to Make a Black & Tan

One of my readers, Mark, commented about Black & Tans as part of my Four Guinness and a Coors series.  I never made one before and thought I'd give it a try.

A Black & Tan (or Half & Half) contains both a black stout and a light colored ale or lager.  It's specially poured so that the ale and stout appear in distinct layers.  The light ale on the bottom and the dark stout on top.  I did a Google search and read-up on how to make one.

I sampled both the Guinness Draught and Killian's Irish Red Lager in the same session.  I wasn't crazy about either, so I decided to make a Black and Tan with the leftover beer from my reviews.  Actually, it was a Black and Red in my case, since I used a Killian's, but I digress...

Making a Black & Tan is fairly simple:

1.  Fill a pint glass half full with an ale (like Bass).
2.  Take a spoon, flip it so the convex side faces up.
3.  Lower the spoon so that it's near the top of the ale.
4.  Slowly pour the stout (like Guinness) onto the curved part of the spoon.
5.  Voila--you have perfectly formed layers!  In theory, anyway.

My first attempt at making one is preserved for all eternity in the video below.  If you view it, please consider the name of my blog as you stare in disbelief.  I trust you will learn from my mistakes.  If you want to see how this SHOULD be done, watch my friend Billy in action.  His Black and Tan is a work of art!  If you have time to kill, watch my lame attempt below.

So go impress your friends on St. Patrick's Day and make them a Black and Tan!  Have you ever made one?  Do you have any tips to share?

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  1. Sanjay: For a first attempt you did well (only a little table spillage). Billy's video is pretty good too.

    Most of the for-sale Black & Tan spoons (Guinness Spoon, Bass Brolly, Brutul Turtle) require the slow-pour method you've shown. And it can be messy.

    If you want an easier, faster, and less messy way to pour layered drinks check out: for 'How To' videos and a spoon I think you'll like better.

    --- James M. Beale, CEO
    --- JMB Brewcraft LLC

  2. Thanks James. I guess it wasn't too bad for a first attempt. I look forward to trying it again it again with your spoon!


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