The Real Reason Bartenders Rinse Already Clean Beer Glasses Before Using Them

master1305/iStock via Getty Images
master1305/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re a big fan of breweries, you might have noticed that many places have a glass rinser installed in the bar. Before the bartender pours your beer, they’ll flip the empty glass upside-down over the rinser, which will—you guessed it—rinse out the glass.

It doesn’t exactly seem like the most effective way to sanitize a stein that could’ve been used by a dozen other people just that night, right? Luckily for all of us, especially during flu season, the rinser isn’t actually meant to clean glasses, and whatever bar you’re at almost definitely runs everything through the dishwasher first.

According to VinePair, the glass rinser serves a few equally important purposes. One, it washes out any leftover dishwasher detergent or dust that might have settled in the glass, ensuring that you only taste refreshing, yeasty deliciousness.

Rinsing a glass right before filling it with beer also makes it more slippery, minimizing the friction between your beer and the glass and maximizing your chances of a smooth, even pour. A perfect pour can give your beverage the perfect head (the foam on top of the beer), too. Though getting a faceful of froth may not seem ideal, VinePair explains that those tiny bubbles release fragrance when they pop, and smelling the full, nuanced aroma of your beer can definitely enhance its taste.

And lastly, a nice cold rinse can lower the temperature of your pint glass, keeping your beer cool for a little longer. Since pint glasses don’t have handles or stems, you have to hold them with pretty much your whole hand—which warms your drink faster than it would in a wine glass. Starting out with a cold glass can definitely help.

Wondering what else you might’ve gotten wrong about everyone’s favorite fermented beverage? Find out the truth about 11 other common beer misconceptions here.

[h/t VinePair]

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The Reason Stone Crabs Are So Expensive

Thomas Hawk, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Thomas Hawk, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Many people associate lobster with fine dining, but the stone crab may be the true king of fancy shellfish. Per pound, the crab is the most expensive seafood consumed in the United States. The crustacean is highly sought after for its delicate, succulent taste, but that's not the only reason for its high price tag. The cost of stone crabs comes from the way the creature is harvested.

To prevent their population from being wiped out, stone crab fishing is strictly regulated. In Florida, where 98 percent of all stone crabs sold in the country originate, the crabs can only be harvested from October 15 through May 1. That's why stone crab season lasts half the year at markets and restaurants.

Stone crab harvesting isn't as simple as hauling a box of live crabs to shore. Fishermen are only allowed to collect one claw from each crab they catch. The claw must be at least 2.75 inches long, and it can't belong to an egg-bearing female.

Once the claw is broken off, the live crab is thrown back into the ocean, where it will have a chance to continue mating and reproducing. Stone crabs can survive with one claw, and it takes them about a year to regrow the lost appendage. That means there's a good chance the owner of the stone crab claw you ordered is still crawling through the ocean when your dinner arrives.

Due to these sustainability practices, one pound of stone crab takes more time and effort to harvest than most other crustaceans. The crab can sell anywhere from $30 to $60 per pound depending on the claw size. And thanks to high demand from seafood lovers, that price likely won't go down anytime soon.