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— This article comes in from our friends at South Jersey Beer Scene —
Having the proper glassware is almost as important as a beer clean glass. However, a dirty glass can ruin a beer tasting experience. Let’s take a look into what makes a glass “beer clean”.
Beer clean glass “Forms a proper foam head, allows lacing during consumption, and never shows patches of bubbles stuck to the side of glass in the liquid beer.” – The Brewer’s Association Draught Beer Quality Manual (DBQM).
How Can You Tell if Your Glass is Clean?
Wet the glass interior and then empty the glass. The water should sheet off of the glass evenly. Any formation of webbing or water droplets means the glass is not beer clean.
The best practice to clean your glass at home is to replicate the 3 sink method bars and restaurants use. Rinse your glass with hot water and a non-petroleum based soap. (Normal dish soaps and dishwashers leave behind a residue that kills beer foam) Scrub glass clean and rinse with cold water. Then rinse with hot water. This will help sanitize the glass and keep those pesky bubbles away. Dry with a lint-free towel or dry upside down allowing the air to circulate.
Proper Glassware for your Beer
Now you know how to make sure your glass is beer clean. But what about using the proper glass for your beer? Using the correct glassware for whatever style of beer you are drinking will elevate your beer experience!
IPA Glass: Designed by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada, the Spiegelau IPA Glass features a wide, hollow stem with an elongated bowl that tapers towards the top. This allows for the aromas of your IPA to be brought forward. There are a few other styles that we recommend as well, check out our article on The 5 Best IPA Glasses from the archives.
Pale Lagers and Pilsners
Flute: These glasses really showcase a beer’s color and clarity. The narrow design allows for the aromas to reach your nose (similar to the Spiegelau IPA Glass) and the shape helps maintain a proper head.
Hefeweizen, Weissbier, and Weissen
Vase: The rounded and wider tops of these glasses are designed to hold a generous head of foam which will hold in the carbonation that accentuates the flavors and aromas of these beers.
English Ales, Porters, and Brown Ales
Nonic Pint/Pub Glass: These glasses feature a bulge toward the top to give your beer a great foam head. Most common shape of pub glass is one you would associate with Guinness, however the Nonic Pint is very common for English/Irish style beers.
Stout Glass: The Stout glass accentuates the rich coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate notes that stout lovers know and love. Spiegelau’s stout glass was introduced in 2014 from a partnership from Left Hand Brewing and Rogue Ales.
Imperial Stouts and Strong Ales
Goblet: Ideal for serving robust beers, the wide opening assists in the overall aroma and flavor profiles of these dark beers.
Stange: This tall, slender glass helps intensify flavors and aromas in more delicate/lower carbonation beers like a Kölsch. While the traditional Stange glass holds about 6.5 oz, newer versions come in 12-13oz sizes making it easier to serve full bottles.
Trappists, Belgians, Dubbels, Tripels, and Quads
Chalice: Designed for sipping beers with a high ABV. Great for visual appeal and helps for easy sipping and maintaining a foam head around one inch.