Beer Clean Glass

Have you ever poured a beer into a glass and had the head of foam disappear too quickly? Or maybe the beer tasted off? If so, your glass wasn’t ‘beer-clean.’ A glass that isn’t beer-clean can produce flat, headless and off-tasting beer. Fat or grease based residues such as milk, dish soap, lipstick or fingerprints can leave a clear film on the glass. The film on the glass causes a rapid release of the carbonation in the beer, which causes it to go flat. Off-tasting beer can be caused by odors absorbed into the glass by milk, stale air, smoke, food from refrigerated environments and drying towels. How to tell if your glass is beer clean? When a beer is poured, there should be a tight head of foam that is about 3/4 to 1-inch from the top of the glass. If the foam dissipates quickly, the glass isn’t beer-clean. When the beer is being consumed, rings of foam will stick to the sides of the glass. If they do not stick, the glass isn’t beer-clean. Manual Glass Brush How do you clean the glass at home? The easiest way to get your glasses beer-clean is to use a dishwasher. Dishwashers are great because the detergent used is a non-sudsing, non-fat cleaning compound that doesn’t leave film on the glass. Dishwashers also use a high heat to air dry the glasses. Another way to clean your glasses would be to use an inexpensive manual glass brush along with a glass sanitizer. Rinse twice in cool, clean water and air dry in your dish rack. Do not dry your glasses with a dishtowel; the glass could absorb the odors from the towel and leave lint in the glass. Another quick suggestion: Only use your beer glasses to serve beer! [techtags: DRAFT BEER, PINT GLASSES]


  • Kat February 8, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Something my dad always did when we went out:

    -Once he had a glass, he wouldn’t give it up. He would request it be reused because the first beer would remove the soap, fuzz, lint, etc. from the glass.

    -If he had a similar yet opposite problem – too much head – due to inept pouring, he would add a dash of salt to bring the head down quickly (he had a very bushy moustache).

  • Hannah June 10, 2009 @ 10:10pm

    Thanks, Kat – those are some great tips for a perfect pour, even when you’re not the one pouring.

  • Alan July 11, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    I remember (before there were dishwashers) that my Dad was very strict about not pouring milk into one of his beer glasses, which he segregated in the cabinet.

  • Hannah July 13, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Alan – I’ve heard this as well and checked in with our resident draft beer guru. He said that the fatty residues left by milk, even after a wash, can mess with your beer’s head. The best rule of thumb is to only ever put beer in your beer glasses.

  • robert de los santos August 30, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    it’s nice to know there is a science behind a great clean pint of draft beer .

Leave a Reply

Your name is required.
Comment field is required.