Today’s infographic is a poster of the most common glassware for beer, with a list of styles below each glass that whoever created the poster believes would work best with each one. I’m not sure I agree with every choice, but at least some styles are listed with multiple glassware. That suggests that none of this is written in stone, which we all know, of course.
Today’s infographic is another look at how to pour a glass of beer, created by Lee Hultang, and apparently he based it on information from Beer Advocate. It originally ran in a story in the Montreal Gazette in 2008.
Today’s infographic is a How To Pour A Pint, and was created by cartoonist Emily Sauter whose Pints and Panels includes her great cartoon beer reviews. The infographic below was used in a Bay Area Craft Beer post, So You Want to Have Craft Beer at Your Wedding, by John Heylin. Sauter provided the illustrations.
Today’s infographic is something of a coincidence. In the summer of last year, some unknown person posted the graphic below showing what they believed the lines around those ubiquitous red Solo cups you find at countless parties might mean.
And it was fairly compelling, but the Solo company said it was not intentional. According to Business Insider, “It turns out that while Solo Cup lines match up pretty closely with appropriate servings for beer, wine and liquor, they aren’t really meant for that. It’s just Solo Cup folklore.” Solo also posted their own infographic on their Facebook page, with alternate suggestions for what the lines could be used for, perhaps preferring not to have them associated exclusive;y with alcohol.
Today’s infographic is Which Beer Glass Should I Choose?, created for the Central Blog, the blog for Central Restaurant Products’ Foodservice Equipment & Restaurant Supply.
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.
Tuesday’s ad is a generic beer ad, either by the industry or by a glass manufacturer and likely is from the transition period from returnables to throwaways. Throwaways were first introduced in the late 1930s, but didn’t become standard until at least the 1960s, so this ad may have been from sometime during that period, but it’s hard to tell with so little information in the ad. Doesn’t it look just a little bit like the Toronado’s logo?
With binge drinking front and center of many public policy concerns, the UK’s University of Bristol decided to examine whether it was because of the glass people were drinking out of. The School of Experimental Psychology set out to “explore the influence of glass shape on the rate of consumption of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.” Their results, Glass Shape Influences Consumption Rate for Alcoholic Beverages, were published recently in PLOS ONE, a peer reviewed, open access journal.
Study participants were given one of the two types of glasses below.
According to the summary by Health Today, “People took about almost twice as long to finish when drinking alcohol from the straight-sided glass, compared with the curved glass. There was no difference in drinking rates from the glasses when the drink was nonalcoholic.” The Bristol scientists conducting the study speculated that “people may swill their alcohol faster from curved glasses because it is more difficult to accurately judge the halfway point of these glasses,” adding that “drinkers may be less able to gauge how much they have consumed.”
“People often talk of ‘pacing themselves’ when drinking alcohol as a means of controlling levels of drunkenness, and I think the important point to take from our research is that the ability to pace effectively may be compromised when drinking from certain types of glasses,” said study researcher Angela Attwood of the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology in the United Kingdom.
While there is a difference, is there a correlation? The researchers seem to think so, though their methodology is unique and it’s the first time, as far as they know, that such a study has been conducted.
Here’s their nutshell conclusion.
Participants were 60% slower to consume an alcoholic beverage from a straight glass compared to a curved glass. This effect was only observed for a full glass and not a half-full glass, and was not observed for a non-alcoholic beverage. Participants also misjudged the half-way point of a curved glass to a greater degree than that of a straight glass, and there was a trend towards a positive association between the degree of error and total drinking time.
But unfortunately they begin with the false premise that “alcohol consumption is associated with increased mortality and morbidity.” Numerous studies have shown that people who drink alcohol in moderation are likely to live longer than either abstainers or binge drinkers (however that’s defined). And at least one study has shown that even binge drinkers will likely live longer than teetotalers. And while there are some persons genetically more susceptible to certain diseases if they drink too much, many other diseases have positive correlations with moderate drinking, that is alcohol use may lower the risk of people contracting those diseases. So public policy really should be aimed at educating the citizenry that it’s in their best interest to drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation. At a minimum, both sides of the story of alcohol should be part of the public discussion instead of the often one-sided version we have today that takes all of the negatives as givens and has no time for any positive findings to balance perspectives.
After more proselytizing and propaganda in their introduction it seems clear which side of the debate they come down on, which I think tends to influence the study itself. They’re looking for a way to reduce drinking — not that that’s a bad goal in and of itself — but while the results seem interesting, the fact is that they set out not to “explore the influence of glass shape on the rate of consumption of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages,” as they initially stated, but instead to effect public policy for their somewhat anti-alcohol agenda. It’s not hard to tease that out of how they characterize what they’re doing. For example, when they explain the rise of “branded drinking glasses in the United Kingdom,” they also include statements like “[w]hile alcohol advertising is still permitted in the United Kingdom” (as if they’d prefer it was not or suggesting it one day may not be) and state that glassware with a brewery’s logo on it constitutes a “currently unregulated, marketing channel,” it becomes nakedly obvious that they disagree with the world the way it is.
Happily, unlike many such studies, the entire journal article is online, so you can judge for yourself. I tend to be somewhat paranoid about these affairs, and am usually skeptical about such efforts.
Another issue I have is the glasses themselves. The first is meant, I presume, to be an average pint glass, but it doesn’t look quite like the familiar shaker pint glass. It more resembles the stange, though shorter, but it has the straight walls and does not curve out and taper slightly into a wider mouth like most pint glasses. The second glass is a common type of pilsner glass and more appropriate to the beer they used in the study. But that first glass I’ve rarely seen used in a pub or bar, at least on these shores. Isn’t it just as likely they overlooked the obvious: that participants drank faster because the beer tasted better in a more appropriate glass? They certainly never addressed using a more proper glass and seemed to overlook that aspect entirely, as if it didn’t matter one iota. Considering how careful they appeared to be with so many other aspects of the study, the choice of glasses seems almost comically devoid of reason.
The beer was apparently a 4% a.b.v. lager from Brasserie Saint-Omer, a French brewery. Why an English university didn’t see fit to include a British beer in the study is not disclosed, and to my mind makes little sense. Clearly, the researchers need to get out to the pub themselves a little more often.
But from this preliminary, somewhat flawed first attempt, the authors make the leap that their findings could inform public policy and use them to alter “policy decisions regarding structural changes to the drinking environment which may reduce drinking rates and correspondingly impact on resulting alcohol-related harms.” Whoa, cool your jets there. That’s quite a leap, with almost no apparent understanding of the importance of glassware to beer, even as they admit their “study cannot fully resolve the mechanism which underlies the effects we observed.”
Even if you’re not a hardcore beer geek who insists on just the right glass for a beer, I think we can all agree that a plastic cup is not as good as glass and that some glassware simply works better with certain drinks, in the worlds of beer, wine and spirits. Imagine the hue and cry if they’d suggested people would sip their champagne much more slowly if one used a martini glass or coffee mug for their next wedding toast. I just can’t abide the notion that glassware choice should be dictated by a public policy trying to slow the pace of drinking across the board, using a bludgeon for a problem I’m not even sure actually exists. I tend to be a slow drinker already, so I may not be the target demographic, but I’d still be swept up in its net if my glassware choice was arbitrarily dictated by politicians and so-called health officials. No matter how well-intentioned, they would undoubtedly remove certain glassware from circulation, limiting the types a bar or pub could use in serving their beer. That, I believe, would be bad for all of us. You want that pilsner in a pilsner glass? Forget it, you’ll get the pint glass and like it. Otherwise, you can’t be trusted to drink slowly enough. There are already enough bad bars using a single glass to serve everything they stock, it seems like this could only make things worse.