Time for some craft beer basics. Today’s topic is proper glassware.
But even though there are a range of options, this is not a daunting task that requires oodles of research (except of the beer drinking kind) at all.
For your home craft beer bar, I would suggest having a couple each of weizen glasses, pilsner glasses and snifters. You can get a good view of them on the link above from Beer Advocate. They are for a narrower range of beers so you don’t need to have many. Also have a supply of pint glasses, the bigger nonic ones, if possible, but the logo’d variety are fine. But the workhorse glass in my arsenal is a tulip. It holds a good supply of beer and I can give it a slight swirl too. I think it can handle a wide swath of beer styles and enhance aroma catching capability. And remember, aroma is key to craft beer enjoyment.
That being said, you should tailor your glassware to what you are fond of drinking. If you are into the big, roasty imperial stouts, and that is what you drink the most, then you should have more snifters than pint glasses. Conversely if you are all over the style map then having mostly pint glasses might be best.
There are two other foolproof ways to make sure that you are drinking from the best glass. Head to your local bar (like one on the L.A. Beer Blast) and plant yourself on a seat where you can see the beer being poured and see what beer goes into what glass. I would suggest taking notes.
Secondly, do an aroma and taste test at home. Select a beer like an IPA or a funky Belgian and pour it into four or five different glasses and then proceed to smell and taste from each. Some of the differences may be small but by the end, you should have a good idea of the effect of the proper glassware.
The Beer of the Week is drinkable from a pilsner glass or a nonic pint. Go Team is a collaboration between Eagle Rock Brewery and The Bruery. The duo blended their differing styles to develop what they call a “pretty unique recipe that we are referring to as a Belgian-style mild ale.” It is a sessionable Belgian at 4.7%. Maybe see if you can find their other local collaboration with Bootlegger’s, Chocosaurus Rye, and have a fun tasting.
Your Homework this week is to try at least one (if not more) beers from the Smog City Brewing Co. line-up. Be it the fearsome Sabre-Toothed Squirrel red ale or their Groundworks Coffee Porter, they have a nice variety of styles from XPA to saison. See if you can find a craft beer bar that has more than one of their beers on tap and support another local beer alternative. Then next month pick another local brewery to follow.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.