Ask drinkplanner black and tan and half and half

Ask DrinkPlanner is a reoccurring feature here where readers submit their questions, and the crack team at DrinkPlanner does our best to answer. Got a question about booze? Ask us!

Here we are with another Friday edition of Ask DrinkPlanner. Let’s do this!

“Dear DrinkPlanner,

What’s the difference between a Black & Tan and a Half & Half?


Split in Two”

Ah yes, the two most famous layered beer drinks. Everyone knows that Guinness is the one on top…but what’s the other beer on the bottom, and which is in which? Lucky for you, I attended a Guinness tasting last year, and learned first-hand which is which and how to prepare them.

The Black and Tan is Bass on the bottom, and Guinness on top. A Half and Half is Harp on the bottom, and Guinness on the top. An easy way to remember it is by the letters, a Black and Tan has Bass, a Half and Half has Harp. They’re both made the same way, fill the cup halfway with either Bass or Harp, and then using a fancy-schmancy pouring spoon (or a regular spoon with the round side facing up will work fine) pour Guinness slowly over the spoon until the glass is full. It may take a few tries to get it to layer perfectly, but be patient and you’ll get it eventually. Or you won’t, and you’ll be the laughingstock of all your friends. Such is life.

Bonus info: Do you know why the Guinness floats? The reason is because, contrary to popular belief, Guinness Draught is really not that heavy of a beer. In fact, calorie-wise, it’s lighter than both Bass and Harp and most other premium beers. It gets the reputation of being a “heavy” beer due to it’s oil-black color and thick creamy head, but pound-for-pound, it’s a lighter beer than many (including Corona, Sam Adams, Natty Ice, Amber-Boch, and even THE BEAST). Feel free to use this info to impress/alienate your friends by being a know-it-all smartypants.

So that wraps up another edition of Ask DrinkPlanner. Got a booze question? Ask DrinkPlanner!

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