“Beer Clean” Glassware

When it comes to the perfect pour, beer should always be poured into a “beer clean” glass. Find out below how to properly clean beer glassware and how to determine that the glass is actually “beer clean”.


Glass cleaning procedures

Each glass must be cleaned before refilling, meaning a used glass should never be refilled.

Glass cleaning procedures vary from region to region. Below you’ll find images/videos that illustrate the four most common glass cleaning procedures: the three-sink method, two-sink method, Spülboy, and glass washing machine.


Three-sink method:

Below you’ll find images of the three-sink setup and a video on how it’s used. (There’s also a demo of one of the tests for “beer clean” glassware – the salt test – in the video, too.)

In the three-sink method, the sinks should be prepared as follows:

  • The first sink should be filled with warm water and a non-petroleum based (sudsless) detergent
  • The second sink should contain cool, clean rinse water that is being continually refreshed through use of an overflow tube
  • The third sink should contain hot water and an appropriate sanitiser at the correct concentration as specified by the manufacturer

Two-sink method:

As above, but with two sinks only.

The two sinks should be prepared as follows:

  • The first sink should be filled with warm water and a non-petroleum based (sudsless) detergent
  • The second sink should contain cool, clean rinse water that is being continually refreshed through use of an overflow tube

Note: There is no sanitizer tub in this set up.


Spülboy:

Check out this video to understand how the Spülboy works:


Glass washing machine:

Glass washers are very similar to at-home dishwashers, but with special considerations that we’ll discuss during the session.

This video shows you what they look like inside and how to keep them clean.

(Note: According to the Cicerone Certification Program, all glassware should be dried inverted on a rack so air circulates inside. Ignore the timings listed here and the suggestion of turning the glasses upright for quicker drying.)


Drying racks:

After cleaning, all glassware should be dried inverted on a rack so that air can circulate inside, as shown below.


How to check that glassware is “beer clean”

There are a few different ways we can tell if our glass is beer clean or not:

Without beer:

  • Sheeting – as seen in the Spülboy video above – when the glass interior is wet and then emptied, water should sheet off of the glass evenly; formation of droplets or webbing indicates that the glass is not beer clean.

  • Salt test – as seen in the three-sink method video above – when the glass interior is wet, then emptied and sprinkled with salt throughout, places where salt does not adhere are not beer clean


With beer:

  • Bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass (in liquid beer) indicate that the glass is not beer clean
  • During consumption, lace will cling to the side of a beer clean glass following each sip
  • Good head formation and retention are signs of a beer clean glass

For a visual, check out this handy guide from the Cicerone Certification Program:

https://www.cicerone.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/CleanGlass-web.pdf