Glassware is an important and often overlooked component of the draught beer ritual. Clean, cool (but never frozen) glassware will increase the presentation value of the beer you serve and enhance consumer enjoyment of their favorite beer brand.
Glassware is available in myriad shapes and serving sizes. Each brand of beer will taste different in different styles of glassware. For this reason breweries will often suggest certain glassware style(s) that enhance the flavor and aromas of their beer brands. These glasses all contain features designed for specific beer styles, exhibiting functionality, tradition or both. Choosing the proper glassware style will enhance a consumer’s experience and lead to repeat sales.
ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT GLASSWARE TO PROPERLY SERVER YOUR DRAUGHT BEER?
A perfectly poured beer requires a properly cleaned glass. As a starting point, glassware must be free of visible soil and marks. A beer-clean glass is also free of foam-killing residues and lingering aromatics from cleaners or sanitizers.
Beer glassware should always be washed in sinks or dishwashing equipment which are only used for glassware. Sinks and dishwashers used for food dishes will transfer grease onto beer glassware which destroys beer foam.
Choose detergents specifically intended to clean beer glassware, and which are not fat or oil based.
Always use the recommended rate of detergent for the dishwasher or sinks. For example, detergents often provide instructions for 5 gallon sinks, whereas many 3-sink systems are 3.5 gallons in size.
Allow glasses to completely air dry, allowing sanitizer to sufficiently evaporate and preventing residual odors.
3-BAY SINK SYSTEM
Beer Clean® is a complete system of specially beer glass cleaner. The system contains special beer glass cleaning chemicals that deliver a properly cleaned draft beer glass, giving your restaurant a better operator image and higher profits. Formulated for total compatibility and optimum performance, Beer Clean® is effective with both manual brush systems as well as electric beer glass washers and powered brush applications.
The Beer Clean® Low Suds Glass Cleaner by Drackett works with a sanitizer and mineral solvent to provide thoroughly cleaned beer, wine and other drink glasses, free of odor, aftertaste or unpleasant residue.
Common dishwashing detergents from the kitchen are not formulated for cleaning beer glasses, therefore special beer glass cleaners are necessary to get the job done right. Oftentimes regular dishwashing soap is petroleum-based and will leave an oily "invisible film" on your beer glasses. This film will quickly kill the head on a draft beer in addition to affecting the taste of the draft beer.
TESTING FOR "BEER-CLEAN" GLASSWARE
Beer poured into a beer-clean glass forms a proper head and creates residual lacing as the beer is consumed. After cleaning, you can test your glasses for beerclean status using three different techniques: sheeting, the salt test, and lacing.
Sheeting Test: Dip the glass in water. If the glass is clean, water evenly coats the glass when lifted out of the water. If the glass still has an invisible film, water will break up into droplets on the inside surface.
Salt Test: Salt sprinkled on the interior of a wet glass will adhere evenly to the clean surface, but will not adhere to the parts that still contain a greasy film. Poorly cleaned glasses show an uneven distribution of salt.
Lacing Test: Fill the glass with beer. If the glass is clean, foam will adhere to the inside of the glass in parallel rings after each sip, forming a lacing pattern. If not properly cleaned, foam will adhere in a random pattern, or may not adhere at all.
Your choice of glassware and how it’s handled makes a huge difference in beer sales.
Draught Beer Basics: Four Keys to Excellent Beer Service: Cold beer, dispensed through clean lines, into beer-clean glassware, properly poured by knowledgeable staff is essential to success.
The Right Beer Glass: A CraftBeer.com resource dedicated to helping you find the right glass to serve your draught beer.
“Frosted Glassware Is Not Cool: Temperature Tips for Craft Beer Retailers”: This CraftBeer.com article discusses the importance of temperature to the draught beer system and how frosty glasses kill beer flavor and cause foaming.
A Clean Glass is the Start of the Perfect Pour
Perfecting the perfect pour is an essential part of being a great bar tender. Whether you are serving beer in a bar or from the comfort of your own home, learning the techniques for the perfect pour will ensure you are always serving draft beer the way the brewer intended. The perfect pour is an art, affecting not only the presentation of the beer but more importantly the flavor.
Watch Out for Dirty Glasses
Glassware can have a significant affect on the taste of the beer you are serving, yet it is often forgotten. Proper cleaning techniques for glassware will ensure the best presentation for draft beer. Dirty glasses can cause excessive foaming and overflow resulting in lost beer and lost revenue. Make sure you are using the proper detergent; if you use bleach or iodine your customers will smell it; and oil-based detergents affect head retention. See Presenting Draft Beer & What Could Go Wrong.
Mind the Glass
Your glass will tell you a lot about your pour. The perfect pour has a foam head that is about to inch thick. This head should remain for the entirety of the beers consumption. There should be no bubbles. If there are bubbles rising or clinging to the sides of the glass, it is an indication there is film present in the glass. A perfect pour will achieve lacing. Lacing is when a ring appears on the inside of a glass at each sip of beer. As the beer nears its end, a series of rings should be present on the glass wall. Watch the Beer System Cleaning Video.