Friday, November 5, 2010

Beer Review: Does your glass matter?

Today's tips brought to you by A Pint of Knowledge and LifeHacker

I'm sure we all have our favorite mug that we like to drink from. I personally enjoy a sturdy thick-walled 12 oz. mug with a nice wide mouth and a handle. It's practical. Thick walls insulate and keep the beer cold. The wide mouth lets me drink as much as I please. It has a tall rise on the bottom which, again, insulates and keeps the heat of the table from my beer. And the handle ensures it will not be dropped and no beer will be spilled.

But this contends with the anecdotes we all hear, and perpetuated by certain breweries, that the glass you drink from can enhance your beer drinking experience.
Is there truth to this urban myth?

And no.

The kind of glass you drink from doesn't matter as much as some would like you to believe. For the most part, the glasses which beer is served in at your local tavern are used more for economic than sommelier reasons. "The 16 ounce “shaker”, a thick and slightly tapered glass, is the one you’ll most commonly find with the logo of a particular beer or brewery painted on the side.  Many bartenders love these because they are study, easy to stack, and provide an equal serving size whatever beer you are pouring from the tap. " But really these 'pint' glasses are meant more for mixing drinks than for drinking from them.

You may also want to let the name of the glass guide you as to what kind of beer to put in them. A pilsner glass for instance, is well suited for a pilsner. However, this kind of glass apparently is meant to enhance the appearance of lighter colored pilsners, to help differentiate them from much darker stouts and ales. Have you ever watched the bubbles fizz up to the top of champagne in a champagne flute? Pilsner glasses serve a similar purpose, to enhance the effect of the carbonation. So if you like a good fizzy pilsner, drink from a pilsner glass.
Last, the ever-contested question: Should I frost my beer mug?
Although it does keep the beer nice and cold, you're better off without the frost. Moisture in the air will tend to condense on the cold glass, then drip into your beer, and water it down. It's even worse if the mug is iced and not just chilled. As the glass warms, that ice melts into your beer. I don't know about you, but a watered down beer is not my idea of tastiness.
Your best bet is to drink your beer in a moderately quick way.
If you can't manage that and would like to linger on your beer, I recommend opting for a smaller glass. It used to be that some pubs would serve beer in small 5 oz. glasses because keeping it chilled was so difficult. Nowadays you can find these same small 5 oz. glasses as part of "flights" with a variety of beer samples, but it is a little more difficult to order just a taste of one beer.


1 comment:

  1. Hi all,

    The content written very well to knowing about pilsner glasses. These are serve a similar purpose to enhance the effect of the carbonation. Thanks....

    Pilsner Glass


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