Video: tasting 3 beers, comparing beer glasses

Most readers will be familiar with the wide array of wine glasses on sale, and the art of matching the right wine to the right glass. Well, what about beer? I thought I’d try tasting some different beers using different speciality beer glasses, from Spiegelau. Here are the results.

These glasses are available from Around Wine and Wineware in the UK.

8 comments to Video: tasting 3 beers, comparing beer glasses

  • Fun to watch; I was hoping for the kind of controlled glassware experiment I took you to have been suggesting wrt wine (playing around with one wine in different glasses) at ~5:12. That would be easy and fun to do with any one of these beers and your new collection of beer glasses. Maybe you could even do the experiment twice: once blindfolded and once not, so as to separate (to the extent possible) the visual effects as against the olfactory/gustatory/oral somatic effects of the different glasses.

  • Richard

    Agree with Jonathan. I was hoping you’d taste all the beers in all the glasses.

  • Jamie, you need as road trip to Belgium.
    Or, rather, all you need is to visit any one Belgian pub where it is normal custom to match each one of over 300 beers with the right glass.

  • steve connolly

    Some research recently suggested that people drink beer more quickly from curved glasses than straight glasses – the suggestion being that they then go on to drink more. So the shape of the glass can have all sorts of effects.

  • Matt Knight

    Jamie,

    Great piece (as always) and thanks for including the Spiegelau beer glasses. If you want to chat more about the beer glasses and even look at any tastings involving them then drop me a line, would be happy to help out.

    I would suggest trying a nice pilsner in the slim glass and try the wheat beer out of the other glass (one you didn’t use), you’ll see and smell some interesting differences!

    Matt
    Riedel UK

  • Damien

    Steve, some people drink it even faster from cans; bet Special Brew has the record on this!

  • Sean

    I’m always taken aback some when a winer ;) says he enjoys beer. Well done, Jamie. I’ve been brewing for two years, and I think glasses are a less-conceived notion than in the wine community.

    In general, I think the tulip (thistle) glasses are definitely superior to a typical straight side pint, especially when aromatics, spices, tart fruit, hops are the featured event in the beer, as malt is more of a flavor and less of an olfactory perception. As far as I know, the thinner, cylindrical, hourglass pints are more suited to keeping beers cold, recirculating the liquid to accommodate a thermal stasis, not unlike champagne flutes. They also tend to be smaller, which means the beer is generally colder when consumed, also with less surface area exposed to increase head retention. In beer, foam sells. Lagers and wheats are supposed to be fresher, lighter, and served colder (40F) than ales (55F). I didn’t really see much difference in the hourglass shapes besides relative size.

    I like your closing thoughts about presentation. It really does create a sense of anticipation in the consumer. Your choice of the tulip for a default is commendable and appreciated to those who enjoy the nose of a beer, but there’s more to the picture. The spielglau glasses are well-designed and especially thin to promote the passage of light, which enhances notions of color and clarity. As Steve says above, a circular shape in a glass does create wonderful presentation and allows more light to be refracted within.

    I would encourage those of you who haven’t tried Belgian to really sink your teeth into Trappist styles and enjoy the vinous qualities (St Bernadus, Chimay), but I also think those can be experienced is a good wee heavy or Dogfish Head’s Demerara. And to point out what may be appreciated, you can experience world class beer for significantly less than world class wine. Cellar living beer, please.

    Also, yes, I think experimenting with a dependent variable in a single beer, multiple glasses would be appreciated.

    All my best, Jamie.

  • The proper shape keeps the volatiles trapped. Volatiles are compounds that evaporate from beer to create the beer’s aroma, byproducts of yeast such as alcohol and other additions.

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