Friday, October 24, 2008

New Skin....

Just kidding. Sierra Nevada's Ken Grossman has just unveiled the Chico,Ca brewery's foray into the glassware world. They join the much-talked about glass developed by Jim Koch at Sam Adams, as well as the mostly unmentioned glass developed at Anheuser-Busch-a tall, almost Weiss-glass shaped vessel with thin glass around the top as well as an etched bottom to create nucleation sites for the release of co2.

The interest in the beer industry in developing new glassware designed specifically for the enjoyment of beer is an exciting advance. Some may have seen it as a conceit, that brewers shouldn't adopt the wine industry's demand for proper glassware.

That may have been a more valid point in the past, beer was meant to be drank from a bottle or a can, and that's the way we liked it.

But as consumers begin to develop greater interest in investigating the inherent qualities of beer-it's aromas, the different flavors created by hops, yeast and malt (and now spices) the relative turbidity and color-and the variety of beers now available, a proper glass is just what the brewer ordered.

In fact, rather than the brewing industry adopting wine culture, proper glassware is a brewing throwback. There is a reason the denizens of Cologne enjoy their thin-walled 50 centiliter glasses. Those Bavarian masses have their place. Belgium, of course, has always had a great variety of glassware to enjoy its draught.

However you quaff your pint, just make sure it's beer-clean.


JD said...

Do you mean Sierra Nevada's Hop Tulip Pint? It's just a 20 floz tulip tumbler with a nucleated bottom. For some time now, British suppliers have offered a nucleated bottom as a standard option; they're called headkeeper, headstart, or lager pints.

I was excited to see Jim Koch develop a truly new design, but more excited by its greatest innovation: wide availability. There are dozens of inexpensive, sensibly-shaped and -sized beer glasses out there. Nearly all are sold via freight in cases too large for individual consumers.

The constant, local availability of a range of good, inexpensive, unbranded beer glasses would, I believe, be a truly exciting advance for beer appreciation.

JD said...

As an aside here, my pet glass for APAs and the like is currently an Arcoroc Cervoise, a short-stemmed glass shaped like a willibecher at the top, with a pointed bottom. No nucleation point, but it certainly captures aromas better than a tulip tumbler. And it's available sized for whole and half pints and for whole and half longnecks. And it bears no logo.

What brands and models would you pick for Schlafly's bottled beers? If all suppliers were available (since you, unlike us, could order from Rastal by the pallet)? If you were willing to ignore "traditional" selections in favor of glasses which present beers noticably better?

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