Tuesday’s ad is for the G. Heilman brand Schmidt, not to be confused with Schmidt’s. I’m not sure when the ad is from, but I imagine the most telling clue is the pull-top crown and the big mouth bottle. Is anybody still using those bottles? The last one I remember was Mickey’s Big Mouth. I haven’t seen them in California for a few years now. Also, with that tagline, For the Thrill of Victory or the Agony of Defeat, I’m not sure how invoking ABC’s Wide World of Sports ties into the beer, although it may offer a clue as the ad’s age. The show debuted in 1961, so it’s likely the ad was sometime after that, though it seems reasonable that it would have been long enough after it began that their catchphrase was already popular. But perhaps it’s the text at the bottom, “the same great beer every time,” that the tagline is referring to; insofar as you don’t want some beers to be winners and others to be losers, it’s consistency that’s king. Anybody have a better theory?
These are some of the most unusual and inventive beer glasses I’ve run across for some time now. They’re hand made, mouth-blown glasses by a Matthew Cummings of Louisville, Kentucky and are available through his Etsy store, Pretentious Beer Glasses. You just know that many people will call his efforts pretentious so I love the fact that he decided to just own it and called his company by that name. He only opened for business earlier this month. Below are the five regular glasses that he makes (but for more photos, and to see them larger, visit him at Etsy):
Each glass is designed for a different range of beers, and you can probably work out what beers go in which glasses by their names.
Here’s a breakdown of each glass:
The Hoppy Beer Glass
The Hoppy Beer Glass description:
This handmade beer glass is designed to highlight hoppy beers, such as IPAs APAs and also light Belgians. The tulip shape is a favorite glass style of high end beer vendors because of its versatility and enhancement of complicated beers. This tulip is engraved with four dashes on the sides, one for your thumb, and three for your fingers. I make each glass by hand in the hotshop (glass studio) and carve the finger grips on the glass the old fashioned way…lathe cutting. Same process that crystal companies use for their cut crystal glassware, only I leave the glass with a nice satin finish instead of polishing it, which provides better grip. Each glass is 5″ tall and 3.5″ wide, holding 12 oz of liquid with a 1-2 oz head (remember, dimensions will vary slightly as each glass is made by hand).
The Ale Glass
The Ale Glass description:
This might be the most versatile glass of the set. It is a variation on a typical pint glass that highlights most ales, lighter beers, and hefeweizens. This is an extremely popular glass design for a reason, and I didn’t see any need for drastic alteration to it’s form. But I had to make it mine (as far as design goes), so I went graffiti on it. Take a recognized format, bomb it, and make it your own. Hence the ‘stache. Dimensions are 6.25″ tall and 3.25″ wide (remember, dimensions will vary slightly as each glass is made by hand).
The Subtle Beer Glass
The Subtle Beer Glass description:
This handmade beer glass is designed to highlight any lighter flavored beer, Lager, Pilsner, Kolsch, etc. The glass is in the traditional format for the style, a tall, narrow cylindrical shape. Yet it possesses a wonderfully “softened” bottom made by indenting the hot glass with newspaper pads while it is being blown. The “softened” bottom is not only ergonomic, but it reveals all the different hues of each beer by presenting the liquid in different densities. Dimensions are approximately 6.75″ tall by 2.5″ wide and holds a 12 oz. pour with 2-3 oz. of head (remember, dimensions will vary slightly as each glass is made by hand).
The Malty Beer Glass
The Malty Beer Glass description:
This handmade beer glass is meant to highlight just about any beer with distinct notes of malt…including Stouts, and Porters. The glass is also wonderful for any unfiltered beer. The point coming out of the bottom of the glass allows the sediment to cascade to the outer edge of the bottom. While the lowest “waist” keeps the sedimentation at the bottom and out of your teeth! The glass is about 6″ tall and 3.5″ wide, and holds a 12oz. pour with significant head (remember these are handmade and dimensions will vary slightly).
The Aromatic Beer Glass
The Aromatic Beer Glass description:
This glass is designed to highlight any aromatic beer and or high ABV beer. Obviously reminiscent of the snifter or full bodied red wine glass, it concentrates the volatiles and aromatics of the beer to properly enhance the experience. The main design element is an abstract mountain pushed into the bottom of the glass. As you drink the beverage, the mountain is slowly revealed, emerging from the dark liquid. Dimensions are 4″ tall and 4″ wide, holding 12 oz (remember, dimensions will vary slightly as each glass is made by hand).
In addition, Cummings has one more glass in his store, The Dual, which is an ideal glass for mixing beers:
The Dual Beer Glass
The Dual Beer Glass description:
This is the first specialty glass released by the Pretentious Beer Glass Company. It is a cylindrical beer glass with two separate chambers inside that combine into one towards the lip. I first began working on this design after having a bartender incorrectly pour a Half and Half, blending the two beers together. This glass is not just the solution to the problem of using a jig to properly pour those types of beers, but it allows you to mix any two beers, even ones that have similar viscosities. A wonderful secondary benefit to this glass is that you can smell the bouquet of both beers simultaneously, where normally you only smell the beer that settles on top. Dimensions vary more on this glass than the others due to production techniques, and are approximately 5-6″ tall and 3″ wide, holding 10-12 oz.
The glasses are a little pricey, but not when you consider that they’re made by hand and are utterly unique. It will be interesting to see how they work. I’ve ordered a set of five, although they won’t make it here by Christmas, and I should point out that you won’t be able to get them for a gift this year since he’s been flooded with orders and is currently sold out.
To see many more photos, and larger ones, visit Matthew Cummings’ Etsy store, Pretentious Beer Glasses.
Most of you already know I’m a freak for obscure words and language more generally, so I’ll always take a look at a list of curious words. One that I recently was looking over at Mental Floss included such gems as a dringle, which is “to waste time by being lazy,” perfectly describing what I was doing when I discovered that.
But the other word was agraffe, which they defined as being “the wire cage that keeps the cork in a bottle of champagne.” I’d heard the word muselet used before, usually in connection with champagne, but many brewers today also use them, though most people I know refer to them more simply as a “cage,” as in a “cage and cork,” or occasionally a “cage and crown.”
But agraffe is a new one on me. A quick search reveals that it’s more often used to refer to a part of a piano, “a guide at the tuning-pin end of the string, screwed into the plate, with holes through which the strings pass.” Most dictionaries I looked at didn’t mention the cage usage at all. Champagne.net does offer this definition.
Literally means “staple” (as in Swingline); in Champagne, this is a large metal clip used to secure the cork before capsules were invented, typically during the second fermentation and aging in bottle. A bottle secured with this clip is said to be agrafé.
Notice they also spell it with only one “f.” Wordnik, in their listing under Century Dictionary does list this usage, as the fifth definition. “n. An iron fastening used to hold in place the cork of a bottle containing champagne or other effervescing wine during the final fermentation.”
Muselet doesn’t show up in most standard dictionaries either, but it is defined, at least, by Wikipedia:
A muselet is a wire cage that fits over the cork of a bottle of champagne, sparkling wine or beer to prevent the cork from emerging under the pressure of the carbonated contents. It derives its name from the French museler, to muzzle. The muselet often has a metal cap incorporated in the design which may show the drink maker’s emblem. They are normally covered by a metal foil envelope. Muselets are also known as wirehoods or Champagne wires.
Neither word is included in the “Dictionary of Beer & Brewing” (2nd ed.), but then “cage” isn’t listed in it, either.
So does anybody know? Those of you in the wine world, is either term in common usage, and, if so, is one preferred over the other? Or are they generally only used in France, perhaps? It seems more likely that they were originally borrowed from the French into English, but have since fallen out of use, or perhaps their usage lingers only in the technical jargon of Champagne and sparking wine. Anyone, anyone? Bueller.