How to Make a Black and Tan

by Billy Broas

Black and Tans are great beer drinks, but how do you correctly pour them?  Here are the ingredients and the process that I show in the video:


  • 1 Bass Ale
  • 1 Guinness
  • Metal Spoon (A soup spoon works best, but you don’t need one)
  • Pint Glass


  1. Bend the spoon so that it the head can be lowered down into the pint glass.  If you pour the beer over a non-bent spoon, it will run back down the handle and drop onto your table – not good.  Bending it also allows you to provide a gentler pour since the spoon will be closer to the Bass.
  2. Pour the Bass into the glass so that it fills up halfway or a little more.  Pour it faster than usual since you want a big head that will provide a nice cushion for the Guinness to sit on.
  3. Lower the spoon into the glass just above the Bass and against the side of the glass.  Very slowly pour the Guinness over backside of the spoon so that it trickles over the side, hitting the glass on the way down.
  4. Finish pouring the Guinness until the beer reaches the top, then give it a few seconds to settle.

That’s it! Now it’s your turn.

Have you ever made a black and tan?

p.s. You may have noticed the other beers I had on the table.  My videos have been in desperate need of color, so to try something new I decided to display some of the recent craft beers that I’ve had.  This is to 1) liven up the set and 2) hopefully display some beers that people will recognize.  So if you’ve had one of the ones that I display, go ahead and mention it in the comments.  We’ll see how this idea works.


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim B February 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Drink the Thing!!!!

I love it man….Keep it up!!!!


Scott-TheBrewClub February 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm

That’s pretty cool, always liked little beer tricks like that. I’ve heard people using Blue Moon and Guinness for a ‘Black and Blue’. Also, I’m working on bending the spoon with my mind like The Amazing Kreskin does, but its a good tip not to bend too many of them!
.-= Scott-TheBrewClub´s last blog ..George Washington – Beer Lover =-.


Chris B October 13, 2014 at 6:09 am

There is a chain of high end pizza and beer joints called the Mellow Mushroom here in NC, and they do several of those blends, I had never seen the Black and Blue before, but they had a “Dirty Dogfish” which is Dogfish 60 minute IPA with Duck Rabbit Milk Stout and a “Dirty Hippie” which was a mix of Sweetwater 420 and Guinness.


Jimmie the Mum February 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Thanks for the demo. I never did it with a spoon before but I never got good head like that either.
something new, something kinkie. :)


Dave @ 30 Days at a Time February 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

@Scott –

The “black and blue” is a great variation too. I had one for the first time in Capitva Island, FL and it was one of the best “sitting on a beach listening to a lounge singer” beers I could imagine.

@Billy –

Great video. I never knew how to get that good separation. I’ll definitely be trying that out this weekend.


Billy Broas February 27, 2010 at 9:16 am

@Tim Thanks buddy. I could only find 12 packs of Bass and 6 packs of Guinness so I was drinking B&T’s for almost a week lol.

@Scott I’ll have to give the black and blue a try that sounds like a good one. Keep working on the mind tricks. If they work out we are doing a video together.

@Jimmie Kinkie for sure. If you really want to spice it up check out this thing, a black and tan turtle spoon:

@Dave Glad you like it. Your story of the warm beach drinking beer took me on a nice day dream. Then I looked outside at this 20 degree winter day and cursed.


Erick March 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Guinness even sells a pour spoon for about $10. Gotta say this is the best and cheapest method to make a good black and tan.

and 3 man points for bending silverware!


DC March 4, 2010 at 11:47 am

Went to a bar last night called the Flying Saucer – 200+ craft beers on tap! I had an IPA and an Amber from Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI) and they were amazing. When you come visit we’re definitely going there… Oh, and if you try 200 different beers, you get your name on a plate/saucer that they put up on the wall. I’m thinkin we can do that in a weekend, what do u think?


Forrest March 16, 2010 at 11:15 pm

If you have a roommate that gets angry over bent spoons… KICK THEM OUT!!! Black and tan haters.


James Beale March 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm

There are quite a few different layering spoons out there. Guinness makes one (of course), as does Bass (the ‘Brolly’), and Brutul’s LagerHead Turtle. All of them (like yours) require the slow pour method.

If you want to pour your Black and Tans quicker and easier, check out the Brewcrafter beer layering spoon ( I think you’ll like it better than the others.


Stew Guidry September 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm

We have a sports bar here that has kind of a selection of Guiness+ beers. My fav that I’ve tried so far was a Chocolate Covered Cherry, that’s a Samuel Adams cherry wheat with a Guiness. Delicious dessert.


MoJoran November 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Will this work with Guinness stout or draught bottles? Or does the can make a difference?


Billy Broas November 27, 2012 at 9:12 am

It should work with the bottles as well.


Mike October 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I have made Black and Tans with Guinness and Heineken, they are really good. I have only heard of the mix a small amount of sites, but I call them Black Heinys!


Woody December 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

a real Irish black and tan is made with Smithwicks and Guinness. Much better than Bass!


Damon September 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Hi Billy,

I have tried five times now and can’t get a separation. I’m using Guinness Extra Stout in a bottle over Bass Ale with a spoon as shown in your video.

Any tips on what I may be doing wrong?

Thank you for the video.



John October 31, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Guinness Extra Stout for a top layer definitely works but I haven’t tried it specifically with Bass. I posted some pictures at Guinness draught in cans is definitely the top layer of choice.


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