Q&A Richard Knoop, VP, Sales & Marketing, Glissen Chemical

How did you get into the restaurant/foodservice cleaning industry?

Glissen Nu Foam Proper Pint Beer

Being fourth generation at Glissen Chemical, I was born into the foodservice industry. Growing up in Joe and Bobbi Lehr’s home I was raised with stories of my grandfather and great grandfather building Glissen from our very humble beginning close to ninety years ago. Besides screwing caps on gallons of Nu-Foam when I was 5 years old I spent 10+ years working at an amazing Irish bar/ restaurant in my home town of Long Beach, NY. I started as a busboy at 13 years old and proceeded to become a barback and bartender. We of course used Nu-Foam products and every pint of beer that was served was a Proper Pint!

What brought you to Glissen?

Glissen helped shape me into the man I am today long before I was officially “brought on” 5 years ago. Glissen’s culture of Honesty, Integrity, and your Word is your bond was frequently discussed at the dinner table. I always loved what my family has built with Glissen and knew I would one day want to perpetuate that legacy. The timing of what brought me on board was my wife and I finished a 9 month, 20,000 mile road trip in an old Chevy Blazer. When we got back we wanted to start a family and our family told us “it’s time to grow up”. We have two beautiful daughters now and couldn’t be happier I get to work with my grandfather every day.

How have the needs of the Glissen dealer evolved through the years?

With all the mergers and acquisitions that have been taking place in the last 10 years the dealers are growing faster than ever before. Warehouses are growing in size but SKU consolidation is a big part of absorbing another company. Educating the dealer sales reps on what they are stocking and how to go to market with that product is very important.

How does Glissen respond to the needs of that dealer?

Glissen is family owned and operated which enables us to be very flexible. We can make changes to manufacturing, packaging, marketing much faster than a company that needs to go through 6 levels of approvals. Glissen works alongside the dealers to look at their current product offering and how we can build their line with the finest products. Our sales team coordinates sales meetings and ride alongs with the dealers sales team to educate and promote our products to the end users. At the end of the day old fashioned communication of picking up the phone, face to face meetings and a firm handshake is how we still like to conduct business.

The importance of serving a great beer has been ramped up dramatically with the advent of the craft beer? What are your thoughts?

The food service industry has seen a tremendous boom in the Farm to Table movement. The brewery might not be a “farm” but it is certainly involved in this social movement. Independent brewers have tremendous pride and passion in crafting that delicious brew same as the small family farms take great care in the products they supply.

I personally have been doing a lot of brewery research, visiting many tap houses and learning the culture. The brewery tap room is the new Starbucks. People are sitting on couches and cozy chairs reading a book or at a table on their laptop finishing up some work. I have seen a lot of people sharing “flights” and then leaving with Growlers of their favorite brew.

The craft beer industry contributed over $76 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017. All over the country many once bustling manufacturing towns that have been lying dormant are now flourishing with the addition to Independent breweries. This industry is putting Americans back to work and all in the name of good beer, who wouldn’t want to be involved!

Let’s back up a step and define the difference between a clean glass and a dirty glass as we aim towards the “Proper Pint”.

A Proper Pint is only served when the glass is “Beer Ready”. This means it is properly cleaned and  sanitized. A beer ready glass will have the following characteristics:

  • Beer will hold its head
  • No lipstick stains or soils
  • Foam should cling to glass with each drink, called lacing
  • No bubbles should cling anywhere on the glass besides formed at the head of beer.

What is the message being sent when you can see carbonation bubbles?

The only place you should see carbonation bubbles is in the head of the beer. If there are bubbles anywhere else on the glass that glass was not “beer ready”. Bubbles should not cling to the side of the glass

What role does foam play in the goal of “The Perfect Pint”?

Foam is critical in delivering the true flavor of the brew. Each style of beer has its own taste and aroma characteristics. Foam lets the beer taste the way in which it was intended by the brewer.

Are there smells that are a telltale sign of a dirty glass?

Glassware needs to be properly cleaned but also properly sanitized. A very inexpensive sanitizer that is sometimes used is chlorine based. Imagine ordering your favorite pint and when you go in for that first sip you get a big whiff of bleach. Immediate disappointment.

How can that be avoided and how does Nu-Foam eliminate that? 

Use products specifically formulated to clean and sanitize bar glassware. For close to 90 years, Nu-Foam has been designed specifically for bar glassware. Our detergents and sanitizers will never leave a residue or odor.

What advice do you have for breweries on the manufacturing and packaging process to ensure a “Proper Pint”?

Brewers can take the steps to use Nu-Foam products to ensure a “proper pint” in their taproom but the problem lies outside of their facility. Say the brewery distributes product to a bar down the block. If that bar is serving the local brew in a dirty glass with lipstick stains and smelling like chlorine that alters the taste of the beer then the end user loses faith in that brew thus hurting the breweries reputation. We are working alongside the breweries’ sales people to educate their customers on how to use Nu-Foam to ensure a Proper Pint.

There seems to be an on-going argument between hand washing glasses vs. machine washing glasses to get to this “Proper Pint”. What are the pros and cons of each?

It depends upon application. Hand washing is still the fastest most economical way to wash bar glassware. With that being said, more high volume establishments can’t keep up with hand washing alone and install undercounter machines specifically for glass washing. We have noticed the industry going in that direction and for the past 5 years have developed products for these machines that have been rigorously tested to be able to hold the Nu-Foam name.

Once that decision is made, how can Glissen’s Nu-Foam maximize the process and help move towards that “Proper Pint”?

When using Nu-Foam you can be sure that you are achieving the three P’s of a Proper Pint. Presentation, Performance, and Profit.

What’s the next step for a restaurant/brewpub operator or beer manufacturer that wants more info on the Glissen portfolio of solutions?

Please visit our website to learn more about our complete line of products. For more information on where to purchase our products please reach out to me personally at rich@glissenchemical.com. I want to help you serve the Proper Pint. Cheers!

To learn more about Glissen Chemical, please visit their website