How To Know Your Glassware Is Beer Clean

In today’s beer market, there’s no excuse for serving beer from a dirty glass. None. Serving beer in a dirty glass is the same as serving dinner on a dirty plate. It’s just…gross. A dirty beer glass will negatively impact the flavor, aroma, and appearance of a beer, thus diminishing your overall experience with your beverage. Plus…it’s just gross.

There are several more reasons clean beer glassware is important. From the overall experience of beer enjoyment:

  • Beer served in a clean glass is more aesthetically pleasing – no bubbles, no film, no oil, no lipstick on the rim.
  • A beer clean glass generates better head retention. Appreciation of a good beer comes from the aroma (which is delivered¬† through the head) just as much as it does the flavor.
  • A beer clean glass leaves lacing around the glass from the foam. Foam dissipates quickly in a dirty glass, thus indicating residues clinging to the glass
  • Serving beer from the proper, clean vessel cultivates the type of experience necessary to bring consumers back to your establishment time and time again.

From a marketing standpoint:

  • If you are using social media and/or your website to showcase your beers for promotion, doing so in a dirty glassware shows a complete lack of care, detail, and respect for your product. ALWAYS post images using beer clean glassware.
  • Treat every pint that crosses your bar as something that will end up on the Internet. Consumers love to take pictures with their beers to post on social media, Untappd, etc. Be sure your glassware is beer clean and Internet ready.
  • As a consumer, if you’re at home posting an image of a beer poured into a glass next to a brewery’s can or bottle, you are second-degree representing this brand. Be respectful of this brand and use beer clean glassware when posting images to your favorite social sites.
The Beer-Clean Glassware Poster, designed by Cicerone, is a visual reference to help you learn the telltale signs of a beer-clean glass and be able to spot a dirty glass from across the room. Click the photo to purchase this poster to display at your establishment.

To ensure the perfect draft beer is poured every time, beer clean glass is imperative. Here is how to know your glass is beer clean:

  • Always wash glassware separately from plates, utensils, or any other item that may have residue and/or particles that could find themselves clinging to a glass.
  • Be sure your washing station is kept as clean as possible (pretty good rule of thumb for your entire establishment as well).
  • Use a non-petroleum based detergent that is designed specifically for cleaning beer glasses. Proper detergent will be odor-free and low on suds. Typical at-home detergents will not get the job done as effectively.
  • Dry cleaned glassware properly. Place upside down (NEVER STACKED) on a corrugated surface or mat that will allow air flow to circulate throughout the inside of the glass. Placing a glass on a towel where air cannot penetrate will cause residue to build throughout, thus affecting your next pour negatively.
  • Do not dry glassware with a bar towel. It’s hard to tell what surface your towel has touched, so having whatever contents that towel contains touch your beer glass could lead to the spread of germs. Plus, lint from towels will stick to the sides of your glass.
  • Store dry, clean glasses upside down at counter height or lower to prevent potential hazards to cleanliness (smoke, cooking odors) in the air to negatively affect your glass.
  • Serve only beer in beer glasses to avoid residue from other products damaging your glassware.
  • Before pouring beer, give the inside of your glass a good rinse with clean water.



This video, courtesy of FromTheBarVideos, further emphasizes the importance of beer clean glassware and demonstrates the best way to achieve desired levels of cleanliness, as well as how to test to ensure same.

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