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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.


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