By now I feel craft beer drinkers know the importance of pouring their beer into a glass before consuming. Roughly 75% of what we taste comes directly from what we smell. For this reason, it makes sense to go ahead and pour that beer you’ve spent your hard earned money on into a drinking vessel of some sort in order to achieve maximum flavor and enjoyment. But let’s take this a bit further shall we? Are you doing everything you can for your beer by simply pouring it into a glass? Sure, it’s a step in the right direction but there are certainly more things you can do to ensure you’re making your beer money work for you.
I’m sure all of you have come across a dirty glass at one time or another. You may not have known it at the time but may have had the idea that something was wrong. The first sign you have a sullied glass is there are large bubbles that stick to the side, similar to champagne.
A properly cleaned glass will have a smooth finish on the side of the glass and the head will be in tact. The oils in dirt and grime will kill the head retention in your beer. When you see your Founders Red’s Rye has a head that disappears like a Miller Lite, you know your glassware is in trouble.
So what can you do to make sure your glassware is clean? This has been debated ad nauseam with all sorts of different products and techniques available (i.e.-using vinegar or salt). There are plenty of cleaners specifically made for beer glasses, and I’ll let you decide which one you prefer should you decide to go the specialty route. Most importantly, never trust your dishwasher to properly clean your glasses. Hand washing goes a long way to ensure no bits of food from last night’s dinner contaminate your beer’s best friend. I would recommend a thorough hand cleaning (with a CLEAN BRUSH) and a healthy rinse with cool water. Also, you don’t want dry your glass with a towel because the lint will stick to your glass and defeat the whole purpose. If all else fails, sacrifice a splash of your beer in the glass, swirl it around, and dump it out.
By taking care of your glasses, you will give yourself a more accurate flavor representation of any beer you want to sample. Going back to where we started, one of the biggest affects I see in dirty glasses is an inconsistency in aroma. And since we taste what we smell, the brewer of that coveted beer you’re drinking will appreciate if you show their product in a fair light. So go ahead and show your spouse that you are indeed capable of cleaning something properly. Your reward after all is, a delicious beer!