A war is brewing in the craft beer world, but this time it isn’t about what beer is in your glass. It is about which glass should hold your beer.
CraftBeer.com have posted an article and video that spotlights the common beer glass and asks why it is the most common vessel for craft beer. The video, featuring Russian River Brewing Co’s Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, claims that the shaker pint is “actually one of the worst things you can use for a beer tasting.” They go on to recommend stemmed glassware for all craft beer drinking occasions:
The post goes on to site the arguments that Michael Lewis, a professor emeritus of brewing science at U.C. Davis, makes against the shaker pint. The argument that resonates the most with us is:
The same glass is used throughout the bar and restaurant trade to serve water, soda, iced tea and milk; this assures beer of similar low-level commodity status instead of the premium status it deserves.
Craft beer has come along way in the restaurant industry, but brewers are still fighting a prevalent lack of respect towards their product, especially when it is compared to wine. The adoption of more dedicated beer glassware is one way that a restaurant or bar can express their commitment to craft beer, and as specialty glassware becomes more common when ordering a craft beer the use of dedicated beer glassware may become more common in the homes of beer drinkers as well.
Of course not every brewer or craft beer drinker has disdain for the humble shaker pint. We recently discussed this topic with Gabe Gordon and Julian Shrago, respectively the owner of and brewmaster at Beachwood BBQ (which stocks 11 different kinds of beer glasses for their customers), and both men said they prefer a straight-walled pint glass for IPAs and even Double IPAs.
Us? We look at glassware preferences like anything else in craft beer: drink (from) what you like. Experiment and find your own preferences. I prefer a tulip for most beers at home; though I don’t mind a pint glass as long as the beer is wet.
How do you feel about the most common beer glass in America? Is it time to adopt more specialty glassware or this only an issue for the beer ‘snobs’?