I’ve always had an appreciation for a Black and Tan. In my college years, after introducing my friend Robert Hackett to them, we tried making our own. After watching bartenders make them countless times, we figured we could bend a tablespoon backwards and make them with out issue. Seems easy right? We got lucky on one or two, but the vast majority ended up being a cloudy (yet tasty) mix of beer in a glass. Next, I bought a spoon made specifically for the purpose of making a Black and Tan. My success ratio was better, but success was still far from guaranteed.
When surfing the web recently I ran across a tool called the Perfect Black and Tan. I was intrigued; I asked them to send me one so I could try it and write about it. It works everybit as well as advertised; as long as you order the pours of beer correctly, it works every time, with ease. I can’t wait to introduce my old friend Robert to it.
I don’t want to brag (I do), but I’m now not only making two layer beers, but three- and four-layer beers. While the spectacle of four different layers of beer in a glass is a great party trick, the real benefit is the ability to layer an endless combination of beers into a gourmet offering. You can tailor your beer to your meals or get fancy and tailor them to individual courses; how does a mix of Young’s chocolate stout, raspberry lambic, and coffee porter paired with your dessert sound? It takes no practice to get right. Pour the first beer, then place the Perfect Black and Tan tool on your glass and pour the next.
After making a few different combinations of mixed beer drinks, I was curious to how it would work for beers on tap (I had been pouring from cans/bottles). I took the Perfect Black and Tan tool to one of my favorite local bars and asked the bartender to make me a Black and Blue (Guinness and Blue Moon) with the tool. As expected, it worked like a charm. I’m surprised I haven’t seen the tool in use at more establishments. It could serve to improve efficiency behind a bar; it takes less work and focus than using a spoon. An establishment with a large variety of brews on tap could really expand their menu with endless combinations of layered beers.
I found a quick rinse immediately after use is all you need to clean it. I wondered if the holes would clog and be tough to clean after leaving it until the morning to clean. For the sake of putting it to the test, I tried. In the morning it was a bit sticky with old Guinness but a quick rinse with soap and water and it was as good as new. You can buy one for $9.99 at www.theperfectblackandtan.com.