How to Clean a Beer Glass

Recently, more and more folks have become aware that the best way to serve a beer is to have the glass "beer glass clean."

"Beer glass clean" means that the glass is free from any sediment, oil, fragrance, or other material that accumulate during cleaning using conventional methods. Beer glasses should not be cleaned with commercial detergents because they tend to leave behind residue that will inhibit the creation of foam, which leads to a less enjoyable drinking experience. Specifically, improper cleaning can reduce aroma and dampen the taste of a beer. Keep in mind; we usually aren't talking about visible build up on the glass either. A crystal clear glass can still be dirty.

So, now that you're thinking that you glasses are dirty and ruining the taste of your beers, you probably want to know how to fix the problem. It isn't hard at all. A few simple steps will go a long way to make sure that every beer you pour is the best that it can be. We suggest having certain glasses for beer only. Other liquids, such as milk, can leave a residue that is difficult to get off the glass and can affect beer.

To get your glasses "beer glass clean," follow these steps:

  1. Mix 2 tsp. of baking soda, ½ tsp. of salt, and 4 tsp. of water in a bowl to make a paste. It should have a consistency a little thinner than toothpaste. Use more baking soda if you need to thicken it up, or add water to make it thinner.
  2. Coat the inside of the glass with the paste. If you are having a hard time reaching your hand into the glass, apply the paste using a small spatula.
  3. With the glass coated, use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the glass. The stiff bristles and salt will remove anything that is stuck to the glass.
  4. Rinse the glass with cool, filtered water. It is especially important to make sure all of the paste has been rinsed from the glass. Non-filtered water, or hard water, can leave a thin film or mineral deposits on the glass.
  5. Place the glass upside down on a drying rack. Allow the glasses to air dry instead of using a towel (which can leave fuzzies in your glass). A warmer room with good air circulation will help the glass dry faster without leaving water spots.

If you would like to test if the glass is "beer glass clean," take a damp glass and sprinkle salt into the glass. If the salt sticks to the sides you have a clean glass. Rinse the salt out before you use the glass.

To begin or continue your homebrewing education, check out Northern Brewer University for our Homebrew Video Courses.