Total Pageviews

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And now there is one...

A decent beer glass makes all the difference. In a nutshell it brings all the nuance and details out. The wine community has been all over this for years. The right beer in the right glass makes for a better drinking experience.
Early last week two of my partners in crime met their end, both in rather inauspicious ways. One was a Hacker Pschorr weisse glass I had acquired as a pack in with a six pack over a decade ago.  The other was a glass that I had received at Rock Bottom Brewery, I don’t remember the circumstances but I know it was acquired honorably. These were 2/3s of the stalwarts in my beer drinking glasses and now they had succumbed to the rigor of dishwashing and random sink collisions.  The last third has escaped unscathed…knock on wood.
The Hamm's chalice in action
My all time favorite beer glass is a Hamm’s beer chalice. (See photo on right) My little brother Cody found it at a garage sale for 50¢. It got packed up with a lot of his stuff when he shipped off to basic training. A few years later I had to go through my old memories and paraphernalia at my parents’ house. Since Cody’s and mine were all lumped together I uncovered the Hamm’s relic and made it mine. (This is still a minor point of contention between us brothers)
I have been using it ever since. For me it is my standard for a perfect glass. I love how it feels in my hand, how it drinks, how the beer pours into it, and aesthetically I find it appealing. Fortunately the Hamms chalice has proven to be built of sturdy stuff and has not suffered the catastrophic failures of the other two.  It is my go to glass when I am trying a new beer or ale at home.
Now it is time for another confession. The truth is while I have consumed a lot of beer I have rarely done so in the appropriate glassware. If one of the three was not available, and let’s be honest they weren’t always the right glass for the occasion either, I would pour the beer into a shaker glass or just drink it out of the bottle. Smacks of heathenism and blasphemy, but I still enjoyed it. (I’m a pragmatic drinker)
So here is an opportunity to upgrade my glassware. A fortune smile as it is the holiday season, but as mentioned above my knowledge in this area is slight. I find myself in a position where I can improve my drinking experience but I don’t know what to ask for. So in addition to me doing a little research I put the question to you the commentariat. What glasses do I need, what are nice to haves, and what are non-essentials?


  1. You broke the best one and a hard to find one in the Hacker glass. I hope some crazy bartender showed you the right way to liberate that beer from it's cask. I have something for your collection but you have to wait till you get back here where beer is a main course not just a beverage. Tonight for me was Potosi's Snake Hollow. American style IPA with amazing clean hoppy finish. IPA best for me in a pint glass. Looks like I will have to pack wisely in my trip to Green Bay. I even used some of this beer in my cooking tonight. I find beer making its way into my meals more often these days. Cheers all. J Zee

  2. Like it is true for wine, it is equally true for beer - the type determines the glass. Fuller bodied beer needs a wider mouth so that your nose and tongue are working together. Pilsner can be in a tighter glass because its aroma is not so key to the experience. I agree with J Zee, an IPA needs to be in a pint glass. I like to use a tumbler from Ittala - high quality glass in a very simple style. I get a nice head on it when I pour from a bottle, can go TV beer with it if I choose, and no tears if I drop one. Nothing between me and my brew.

  3. Justin, I was looking for replacements last night and I can get one if I want.

    Brian: We run up to the subjective part of consuming beer again. I have drank many a beer in your kitchen, half out of bottles, half out of shaker glasses but all were good memories.

    Glassware will change how you drink and enjoy the beer, but it isn't the only element in play.

    BTW, you two will meet each other at Lambeau in a 10 days time.

  4. So as I join my comrades in arms (or more appropriately consumption of that wonder nectar of life....yes beer) I feel that I do have something to provide on this topic...and Skye, as you well know... beer is beer is beer, but good beer from the appropriate glassware is Beer! So I remind the readers of the new kid on the block, my favorite (recently readily available beer) of Fat Tire and his wonderful siblings Triple and Snow Day from New Belgium Brewery. This brewery has been around for a while, but just recently made available to us enthusists on the east coast, and they do have appropriate chalices available for the optimum consumption experience. New Belgium offers their globe glasses,, and even shares part of your cost with your choice of charity! ..... though the Chimay goblets should never be far from reach :)

  5. I learned more about beer consumption from a wine guy than I ever thought imaginable. He didn't stress glassware so much as looking at and using your nose more than anything to figure out what you were about to drink. I have put this to very good use and have become the go to guy for all of my friends who brew their own beers as I've learn hops bouquets very well. I have a fairly large number of what I term as 'favorites" - and only so many since most of them are seasonables. There are 2 beers that rally don't need anything but your favorite glass and a friend to enjoy a six pack of: Capitol Brewery's Wisconsin Amber and a rare find a year ago for me, Sam Adams Revolutionary Rye. The later moved to the top of my list in a single taste, but I am a sucker for rye beers. If you haven't had a chance to try a rye, you have to find a way. It is something so different in beer that for me was a perfect fit. 2 days in Green Bay isn't going to be nearly enough to get through even to top of my favorites list, so I may have to change strategy and shoot for finding anoter to add to the list! Time for a cold one! Cheers

  6. Justin, were you able to pick up the New Glarus Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale that was available earlier? Wasn't too shabby. If you haven't had it you may really enjoy Founders Red's Rye PA. Definitely worth tracking down.

  7. I got 99 problems but the beer ain't one...

  8. Brett: break out the globe glasses, we will have a New Belgium day this weekend.

  9. I have been able to locate both, and not bad. Like I said there is just something about a Rye for me.