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07-12-02

Beer Glass Comparison

If you are new to craft beer you may have heard that the type of glass you drink from has an impact on the flavor and aroma of a beer. Sam Adams has a commercial out about the glass they developed specifically for their beers that help concentrate aromas and highlight flavors. The question is does the glass you drink from actually impact the beer you are drinking?

07-12-01

If you have been a reader of this site for any period of time you will see that I generally drink all of my beer out of two styles of glass a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner and a Spiegelau Lager Glass (don’t worry the links are not commission linked).I used the Stemmed Pilsner for IPAs, high alcohol beers, and Belgians. The Lager glass gets everything else. I have dozens of traditional pint glasses but I don’t use them for beer drinking. Spiegelau has recently come out with an IPA glass, which you will begin seeing on this site, and it made me want to do an experiment.

To begin with I got a glass of the four types mentioned above and lined them up. I then got two of the same beers and split them among the glasses. I think took some notes about smell and taste. You can see the results for each of the glasses below. One note, the beer I used is a balanced IPA that has a good amount of hops along with a great malt body.

07-12-02

Traditional Pint Glass

Smell: You can tell this beer has hops but they seem a bit muted or aged. The hops are not bright. There is also some malt odors in there mainly bread and biscuit.

Taste: As with the nose, the hops seems a bit muted. Not clear hop flavor but I would edge on a slight grapefruit going to pine. The malt is round and is a bit stronger than the hops.

Lager Glass

Smell: Grapefruit and piney hops with a good helping of malt character. Slight caramel with bread.

Taste: Good hop kick with the flavors that the nose promised. Malt is crisp and full. Lots of good bread, biscuit, and caramel.

Stemmed Pilsner

Smell: Concentrated hops right off the bat. Malt comes in a bit later with some caramels and bread.

Taste: Bright but balanced hops. Grapefruit hops that flow in to a pine flavor. Crisp hop ending note. Malt is balanced and has some great caramels and bread flavors.

IPA

Smell: Smell matches that of the stemmed pilsner.

Taste: Taste matches the stemmed pilsner

Conclusions

As you can see the aroma and flavor of this beer changed greatly depending on the glass that it was in. The pint glass really muted the flavors and made this beer seem less interesting and fresh than what it was. The lager glass was nice but the hops was not nearly as bright as the other stemmed pilsner or the IPA glass. The stemmed pilsner and IPA were about the same for me. The only difference I found was that the IPA kept the beer smelling fresher for a longer period of time.

10-10-01

Good Beer Festival Review

This weekend was not what I had hoped for in terms of Philadelphia sports. The Phillies lost a series that they should have easily won and the Eagles looked like the Eagles. Luckily, I had a shinning beacon of hope this weekend, the Good Beer Festival.

The fest started around 12:30 and went till 6:30. We got there at about 1:00 and quickly moved through the gates. A ticket to the fest gave you a pint glass to take home (and to use as a sample glass) and all the beer that you could drink. They had a ton of good food and music, on two stages, as well.

The first place that we decided to go was the Dogfish Head stand as they were the closest. They had many fine offerings including 120 Minutes IPA on draft. Impressive. After a few minutes in heaven we swung around to the other side of Dogfish Head where Yards and 16 Mile were located. They were both very generous with their pours giving us a half a glass instead of the suggested 2 oz sample. Both breweries make some lovely beers.

Ommegang and Stone were next. Each had their “normal” beers but Stone did bring an oaked version of their Arrogant Bastard. I really do love both of these breweries for different reasons. Magic Hat and Sierra Nevada were next on the list and I was very underwhelmed by Magic Hat’s offerings. They had #9 and Hex. I gave Hex a try and I was burping the fruity flavor from the beer for the whole rest of the day.

We then hit a slew of breweries including Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and Oskar Blues. Oskar Blues had a nice selection of swag which is still sitting in my car. We hit a few other breweries before lunch. The most notable beer that I think I had as from Evolution Brewing Company with their No. 6 Double IPA. It was damn tasty and pretty near perfect in my book.

At lunch I had a BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich was was delicious. My wife had BBQ Pulled Pork nachos which were also very tasty. For desert we indulged in a funnel cake. My stomach was a happy camper as everything that was put into it was fantastic.

After lunch the crowds began to pick up. Early in the day you could literately walk up and get a sample, but when the crowds came, you had to wait a whole minutes. I know some other beer fests you can wait for 20 minutes or more for a beer, no at the Good Beer Festival. I think the longest line I waited in was 2 minutes.

As Joy pointed out in my previous post, there are two kinds of beer festivals. One where everyone is chill and relaxed or two where you have a bunch of drunks. I don’t think that I saw a single drunk person at the festival. There was a strong police presence and there were enough other things to do besides drink all day. They had plenty of live music, a games area (cornhole anyone?), and even a historical brewing demonstration. I loved the festival and I will be attending next year. (more…)

Bars cheating

I talked last week about my love of beer glasses and why I like to drink from them. There was something I forgot to mention. It’s the fact that a lot of bars cheat you out of beer. There are a few ways that they go about this, but the biggest problem I have is when I get a glass that is not full. I want my beer filled up to the edge of the glass. Many bars will leave a little extra space so that the bartender can get it to you easier.

Another way is the misunderstanding of a pint. A pint is 16 oz, but many places use these new 12 oz “pint glasses.” There is nothing pint about them, they are 4 oz short on bringing that promise home. That’s 25% of your beer! Bummer. Another trick used is to incrase the amount of glass at the base of the pint glass so it looks like a pint, feels like a pint, but there is less internal volume.

One cool solution to this problem is the Beer Gauge (pictured above left). It shows you how many ounces you actually have in your glass, and how much is missing. It would take some balls to try using this thing at a bar, but it does stop you from getting cheated.

Beer glasses

I’m of the opinion that a beer is better drank from a glass than a bottle and better from a bottle than a can. If it were a math equation it would look something like

Glass > Bottle > Can

I think most people can agree with that statement. But what is it about a glass that is so perfect? Imagine sitting down at a bar and have everyone with bottles instead of a nice pint glass. It just doesn’t seem right (unless you are a some cheap college bar). I don’t know if there is a real reason for this, it is just my preference.

I love beer glasses. I have several different types. I started with the typical pint, moved to a pilsner, and then to a challace. I use all of my glasses (that’s what they are for) but some beers just suit some glasses better. Some are just for fun, like my 26 oz half yard or my boot like the one on the left. My pint glasses get a hard workout weekly.

Beer glasses are just one of those beer culture icons that I just love. I do have a strange fascination with beer, and beer glasses are just another way to express myself.

Do you have any preference with glasses, bottles, or cans; leave a message below.