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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Check Out That Glass

Let me start this article by making a confession... I don't own a teku glass...

I know, I know... but hear me out before you take all of the delicious and juicy imperial IPA's from my fridge.  It's not that I don't like the teku glass or that I don't enjoy using proper glassware because really I do.  I always pour my Guinness into my Guinness pint glass and my pilsner glass has more than a few miles on it.  My father-in-law gave me a set of different glasses and I have accumulated a large number of beer glasses on my own. For almost every style of beer, I have a glass to match it. But when it comes down to it, does the glass make a difference?

I have read a lot about proper glassware, mostly because if I am investing in good beer then I want to enjoy it at its best.  My go-to article on glassware for different types of beer is this one from BeerAdvocate. Other articles offer their opinions on the matter, but are all over the map. One article will tell you, that if you drink beer from the wrong glass than you are missing out and not drinking beer as intended. Another article will tell you that it doesn't matter if you drink a beer out of a vase or a champagne flute, its the beer that makes the difference.  In 2016, both Dogfish and Anchor Brewing tackled this issue on their respective blogs and came up with different conclusions.  If there are so many differing thoughts on the matter, who is right? Is there a right or wrong answer?

Many articles that I have perused usually use the phrase "scientific studies show" which means that there are some very smart people using their valuable time to find out if we should be drinking a stout from a goblet or a pint glass.

Whatever all the research says, it is still up to the bar, the brewery or the individual to decide what to do with all the information about #properglassware. Whether you are in strict adherence to glassware etiquette or are just glad to be using a clean glass, there is room for all of us at the table.

I tend to float somewhere in between, but probably for the wrong reasons.  I like the way certain glasses feel in my hand and look when filled with my favorite brew.  I started using a tulip shaped glass because, 16oz cans of my favorite Imperial IPA fit better in it and look great too.  I will admit that I have noticed that head retention is slightly better in those glasses than a regular pint glass. But that doesn't mean that I always match the glass to the style of beer that I am drinking. From my drinking experience, I find that the glass doesn't make the beer taste better, but makes me feel better about the beer.
I have a few favorite glasses that just feel good in my hand, so I tend to use them much more often.  It may be a comfort thing, but when I am ready to watch some baseball and enjoy a good beer, I want to enjoy all aspects of it and not be too worried about my delicate and hard to get glass. Now that isn't to say, I won't buy a new glass ever again. But if I do it will be because I like the way it looks and feels in my hand, not because I am supposed to do it.  So whether you use the right glass or not, always remember that the receptacle is not nearly as important as the contents.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Too Much Of A Good Thing?


There is OJ some where in this fridge...
I don't know about you, but at this moment, I have:
1 mini fridge full of beer,
2 shelves of a regular side by side refrigerator full of beer,
3 shelves worth of on-deck beers in the garage.
So, how is that a bad thing you ask? Because as of this writing, I am already planning on buying more.  3 local breweries are releasing new products that I want to try and if I don't grab them on release day they will be gone.  

The amount of good beer coming out now is amazing and at the same time overwhelming!  Is it all too much? Do I need every can release from my local brewery?  What if I skip this can release? Will I miss out on the most delicious beer ever? If I do, what will happen? Will they take away my Craft Beer Membership? (I actually do have one.)

These are all the questions that go on in my head as I shift beers around in the fridge to make more space or look for room for a useless container of orange juice.

I rationally know and understand that if I skip a can release they won't force me to drink Coors Light for the rest of my life (sorry, Coors Light fans).  But I have changed my beer buying habits a bit, so that I can enjoy all the great stuff available while not going broke. One solution that has been working so far has been splitting the booty from these limited releases with my brother.  While I end up having less beers to drink, I also end up spending half as much money.  And while, I have missed out on a few can releases because of real life stuff, I have still been lucky enough to try a few of those beers because friends saved me one or the brewery still had it on tap.

I have stopped going to the beer store "just to look around" to keep myself away from the temptation of making a 6 pack of beers I have never seen before.  Sure, I might not ever try that seasonal beer from Random Brewing company in Shreveport, Louisiana (not a real brewery), but that's life. We don't get to have everything and I am choosing to miss out on some of those brews. I have decided that I am focusing my resources on local stuff. With the amount of good breweries in NJ, NY and PA, I will never run out of stuff to try, but hopefully this approach will keep me from buying beer every week to just every other week.

There is a lot of good craft brews out there and more are coming out each week (or every other week) and while it is not impossible to have them all, I have to set my limits.  So if you are lucky enough to get your hands on all them... Cheers! and maybe save me one....


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