I was round my parents house the other day and my father and I where enjoying some of his home brew straight from the keg when my mother decided our glasses needed washing. I was rather annoyed to see that she was washing them with soap, as I have always been told that soap is the devil of beer glasses.
Soap can leave a film on the glass (even if you cannot see it) and can distort the flavor of the beer as well as reducing the head. I think we have all been in a bar or restaurant somewhere were the beer has virtually no head and looks filmy around the edges, this of course would be the place washing the glasses in soap. This includes all popular detergents and washing up liquids, don’t listen to anyone who tells you that some forms of soap are good for beer glasses - they are not.
Another huge no-no to washing your beer glasses that many people make a mistake in is the dishwasher! A dishwasher not only releases a large amount of soapy soap all over every dish, it also has an abundant of other foods and liquids in it. So if you where washing your glass in the same dishwasher as a plate you have just eaten seafood off, you may end up getting a hybrid flavor of pilsner and salmon in your next beer…. not a good thought.
The best method that I use for cleaning my beer glasses is simply and natural… water. After you finish using your glass simply rinse it out well in warm water making sure it is completely clean, it is best to rinse out immediately after drinking as this will reduce things sticking to the glass. Now just let sit and dry, or get a clean (must be clean) towel and dry off your glass. If you keep to this simple method you should always have a nice clean beer glass with no ‘extras’ in it.
And keep you eye out on your mom!