The Beer-Clean Glass

Keeping your glassware 'beer-clean' is key to serving the perfect draught.

  • Always keep your glass washing area extremely clean.
  • Never wash glassware with utensils or dishes used to serve food. Food particles and/or residue can affect draught quality.
  • Use a detergent designed specifically for beer glass cleaning (low-suds, odour-free and non-fat. Do not use regular liquid household dishwashing detergents for glassware).
  • Place glassware upside-down on a deeply corrugated drainboard to dry so that air can circulate freely inside the glasses. Flat counter tops used for food preparation and serving are a potential source of contamination.
  • Never dry glassware with a towel. Towels are used frequently at the bar so it’s hard to keep them clean and lint-free.
  • We recommend that you use beer glassware only for beer. Dairy and other food products leave a residue which can affect the quality of the draught.
  • Store glasses at counter height or lower. Cigarette smoke, cooking odours and grease odours tend to rise.

If you have overhead glass racks, use them for liquor and cocktail glasses. These drinks are not affected the same way as draught beer.

Tests to ensure you’re pouring beer-clean


Sheeting Test

A beer-clean glass will shed water evenly in unbroken “sheets”. On a glass with invisible film, water will break up and form droplets on the surface of the glass.


Salt Test

In a beer-clean glass, salt sprinkled on the interior of a wet glass will adhere evenly. If not properly cleaned, salt will fall to the bottom or adhere in a random pattern. Salt will not stick wherever a greasy film is present.


Head Retention Test

A beer-clean glass will form a thick, tightly-knit, creamy head. The beer will be sparkling-clear and free of bubbles. A glass that’s not properly cleaned will have loose, large bubbles (fish eyes) that will cause the head to disappear within 10-60 seconds. Bubbles will visibly rise from the bottom of the glass and adhere to the sides.


Lacing Test

In a beer-clean glass, foam will adhere to the inside, forming a parallel ring pattern (lacing) as each sip of beer is taken. In a glass that is not properly cleaned, foam (if there is any) will adhere to the glass in a loose, random pattern – or may not adhere at all.