In some beer bars and brewpubs, you might have seen a bartender flip a glass upside down and press it down on a water sprayer, just before dispensing beer into it. This isn’t just for show, and it’s not a trendy gimmick. It actually serves many purposes.

Quickly blasting the inside of a beer glass with water conditions the glass and improves the pour. Benefits include:

  • It removes particles that washing may have left behind.
  • It removes detergent residue, no-rinse sanitizer or other cleaning agents that may be invisibly residing in the glass.
  • It rinses away dust in glasses that have been on a shelf for a while.
  • It reduces foaming issues because the water “softens” the glass, making it have less friction.
  • It cools the glass slightly, so it won’t warm up the beer beyond its serving temperature.


Wander Brewing has been using a carbon-filtered glass rinser since it opened in May of 2014. “Many people view glass rinsing as a novelty, but it definitely has benefits,” co-owner Chad Kuehl explains. “It helps to ensure we have a beer-clean glass, which leads to a better presentation, a smoother fill, and better head formation and retention.”

He also says that it helps to cool down glasses that have just exited the glass washer, especially during busy times when glasses are needed as soon as they exit the washer. “We wash our glasses with a high-temperature glass washer, which allows us to use less detergents,” he says, “but the glasses need to be cooled

[before pouring beer into them].”

Aaron Matson, owner of The Copper Hog Gastropub, which was the first pub in Bellingham to use a glass rinser, shares Kuehl’s sentiments, and he adds: “Commercial glass washers wash, rinse and then sanitize, so the glass rinser removes the sanitizer out of the glass. It also helps to reduce [beer] waste because beer pours smoother in a lubricated surface.”

So the next time you see a bar or brewery using a glass rinser, just know that it’s only helping to ensure you’re getting a great pour of beer in a properly cooled, beer-clean glass.