We all know (or we claim to know) the reasons different wines are served in differently shaped glasses. And go to any fancy bar for a nice brandy, it will likely be served in a typical brandy snifter glass. So why don’t we treat beer, especially awesome, well made beer, the same and serve it in special glasses?
I recently had the opportunity to test the new “IPA Glass” from Spiegelau at the Lumsden Freehouse (Newmarket). Saturday morning started a bit cloudy but eventually the sun made a brilliant appearance for our test. Epic Armageddon was poured into 6 different glasses including a standard pint glass. We started by smelling each – already there was a difference. The tulip shaped glass (on the right) held the hop aroma, whereas with the tall pilsner glass (on the left) I was unable to detect any aroma at all.
The next step, of course was determining if we could taste a difference. Here, again I believe you could.
The stand out was this funky shaped IPA glass. The tulip shape in the middle serves the same function as the other tulip shaped glass – it allows the aroma to stay in the glass. The lower part of the glass has ridges in the glass that act to mix the beer as the glass goes from horizontal to vertical. I am no physics professor but to my senses, the beer still tasted fresh, even at the bottom of the glass. Compared to a standard pint glass where it’s almost painful to drink that last quarter (cause it’s stale and all backwashy – that’s the technical term), this glass was still refreshing with all the flavour of the first sip.
I will be the first to admit that because our brains were expecting a difference, we were more likely to see (taste) one. It’s called bias. But when the glasses are not free, I was really hoping it wasn’t true (because I am cheap). I have to admit, I am completely convinced. I plan to get some of these glasses for myself so I can enjoy my IPAs at home. Maybe my latest homebrewed IPA will be great instead of just okay. But how do I convince the judges to use these glasses?Since the sales manager for Spiegelau did not attend this event, I couldn’t ask all the questions I know you have – like where can I buy these? I will attempt to get this info and update this post. Until then, keep your eyes open for these glasses. They really do make a difference.