Pretentious Beer Glasses

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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):

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From left to right: The Hoppy Beer Glass, Ale Glass, Subtle Beer Glass, Malty Beer Glass and the Aromatic Beer Glass.

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.

Below are the same glasses, but filled with beer.
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Here’s a breakdown of each glass:

The Hoppy Beer Glass

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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 Hoppy glass is also available with two types of hand grips, dashes and finger prints.

The Ale Glass

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

There Are 1,952 Craft Breweries In The United States

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This is a pretty cool piece or artwork that would look great on your wall. Los Angeles-based artist David Odere has created a poster entitled There Are 1,952 Craft Breweries In The United States, in which the glass of beer, head included, contains the names of every one of those 1,952 breweries. The poster is below, but to really get a flavor for it, look at in his website, Factry, where you can zoom in on it to read all of the brewery names. Last time I’d checked, the number was in the high 1800s, but I guess we’ve gone way past 1900 since then. Can hitting 2,000 breweries be very far away at this point? See if you can find your own or the ones in your area. For $20 (plus shipping) you can also but an 18″ x 24″ poster of it.

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And if you love bacon, be sure to check out his other poster, Everything Goes Good with Bacon.

Occupy Pubs: A Glass Roots Movement

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My good friend and colleague, Lisa Morrison — a.k.a. The Beer Goddess — just let me know about her latest project, and just in time for Christmas. She’s created a line of t-shirts, hats, stickers, iPhone cases, and so much more with a humorous nod to the Occupy Wall Street movement to show support for our favorite cause: the good beer movement. In this case, she’s calling it “Occupy Pubs: A Glass Roots Movement.”
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You can order all manner of things with the Occupy Pubs logo at her Cafe Press page. The basic t-shirt shown below will run you $19.19, with fancier ones a little more. There are also styles for women, children and infants.

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“We are the 5%!”

A Puzzling Beer Mug

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This morning I was perusing the new X-Treme Geek catalog — yes, I’m that kind of geek, too — that arrived in the mail a few days ago, when I happened upon this kinda cool puzzle.

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When you manage to get all the pieces of the puzzle together — voilà — it’s a beer mug. Remember when lots of comfy bars used to have puzzles and games on the bar for patrons? This one seems like a natural for any of those kinds of bars.

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If you’re iPhone user, old or new, they also have a bottle opener built into an iPhone case. That certainly seems geeky, but also potentially useful, as well.

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Toy Beer Trains

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Today, of course, is the busiest shopping day of the year. I’m staying home and drinking, as usual, but yesterday at my in-laws, my mother-in-law put up on the wall a giant poster where the grandkids could list all the toys they were hoping Santa might bring them this year. My son Porter filled out his entire section with requests for trains, particularly Lionel trains. He’s been obsessed with trains as long as I can remember. First it was Thomas the Tank Engine, then the I Love Toy Trains series, followed by Geo Trax. For a while now, though, he’s been fully engrossed in the expensive model trains, especially HO and G gauge, which seem to be his favorites. It what almost appears savant-like, he knows more about trains than anyone I know. To me, the old black steam trains all look alike but he sees them and cries “that’s the Big Boy” or the “GG-1″ or some other unfamiliar name with complete certainty. I’d think he’s just making it up but recently at the barber shop, another man waiting his turn happened to run a local train museum and the two of them talked about trains like equals. The man confided in me later that my son had truly impressed him with his train knowledge, confirming what I’d always believed, that Porter really is as obsessed as I can be, just about different things. The apple really doesn’t fall very far from the tree.

One thing that’s surprised me is that I see toy trains with breweries on them all the time. But what I’ve learned about model trains is that despite the word “toy” often being associated with them, there are far more adults collecting them than kids. For one thing they’re very, very expensive. So I suspect that’s why they can get away with so many beer-themed boxcars and the like. When we got home last night from or holiday feast, I decided to do a quick Google search for toy trains for breweries. Lots of lots of them, big surprise. There’s even a guy out there who collects toy beer trains, and he’s cataloged 780 of them with 658 photos. Check out The H.O. Beer Car Collectors Website and be amazed.

The most I’ve ever seen in one place is in Germany, at Weyermann Specialty Malt in Bamberg.
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In Weyermann’s meeting room, the wall is completely filled with brewery signs and every available shelf, mantle and ledge has toy trains on them.

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Mostly European brands, but there are a surprising number of American brewery trains, too.

Below is a slideshow of just a sampling of all the toy beer trains I found online. Most are from the The H.O. Beer Car Collectors, which is hands down the best resource I came across. The Flickr gallery is best viewed in full screen. To view it that way, after clicking on the arrow in the center to start the slideshow, click on the button on the bottom right with the four arrows pointing outward on it, to see the photos in glorious full screen.