Derek Maher, founder of Crystaltech, chats to On-Trade Progress about how to keep glassware squeaky clean.

Much of the focus of pub operators is quite rightly on cellaring and the handling of beer to maintain quality, but top-notch operators should never lose sight of that vital last yard – from the pump to punter. There is nothing more off-putting than lipstick marks, greasy fingerprints and indeterminate food residue on the rim of your glass or tableware. A recent survey highlighted that at 38%, dirty glasses was one of the ‘most burdensome frustrations’ for customers in pubs/bars.

With the profusion of natural-light infused pubs and bars and a rise in the popularity of cocktails and gin-based drinks, glassware has never been under such scrutiny. Serving drinks in dirty glasses could have serious implications for the reputation of your business as not all customers will complain, they just won’t come back! As well as looking visually appealing, glassware has to be sparkling clean or it can affect the taste and appearance of beer or wine and poorly maintained glasswashers are one of the main sources of cross-contamination within pubs and restaurants.

Having to polish glassware post-wash is both labour intensive and increases breakages, but crucially it provides another opportunity for germ contamination which is why it is important your service company provides a results-based fix to leave your machine working at its optimum output and delivering spotlessly clean results.

For 38 years Derek Maher, founder of Crystaltech, has built a reputation as the UK’s leading expert in achieving perfect warewashing results within the pub and catering industry. Derek and his team are passionate about achieving perfect results and carry out consultancy work with Cask Marque as well as ensuring leading pub groups Fullers, Greene King, Stonegate and McMullen’s achieve award-winning clean glass results across their entire estates.

“We have been working with Derek from Crystaltech for over 38 years and in that time he has helped us to achieve award-winning clean glass results across the Fuller’s estate.”  Emma Watts, Trade Quality Manager – Fuller’s

Renovating glasses using a chlorine-based chemical is now the accepted method of disinfecting glasses and removing the proteins and soils that build up on a glass over a period of time. Derek advises using a liquid renovate which can save many wasted operational hours as it can be connected to the automatic detergent feed of the glasswasher without any adjustment.

“Many glasswasher detergents are too caustic and cause cloudy looking etching on glasses or, are too weak and leave behind unhygienic residual dirt/proteins, which results in poor head retention – flat beer. Many of the major brewers and pub operators have moved towards using Renovate continuously as an alternative to their usual caustic detergent,” says Derek Maher, Crystaltech.

Installing a reverse osmosis (RO) system can dramatically improve wash results – the system pushes purified water through the wash cycle, removing residues which are normally left on the glass. An RO system reduces the need for cleaning chemicals by 70% as well as allowing for a lower wash temperature, making it a much more energy efficient proposition. As a combination of RO and chlorine detergent can lower wash and rinse temperatures, glasses don’t retain as much heat and, as we know, a hot glass warms the beer and impacts a customer’s experience.

For further advice contact the Crystaltech team call 0370 350 2424 or email