Wonder why we serve our beer in different glassware? Turns out your experience with the beer will change with the type of glass we serve. Years ago, Bobby and I did an experiment–we’re scientists by training (more about that in a future blog post!) We blindfolded our friends and gave them four IPAs and asked them to select the best one. Unbeknownst to them we poured the infamous Russian River Pliny the Elder (which has won best beer for over a decade) into four different types of glasses. Same beer, different glass! And they ALL CHOSE the beer in the tulip glass saying it was the best! So what gives? How can the same beer taste different when served in a different glass?
Much like wine, it’s all about directing the aromas but the added bonus is that beer has a foamy head which can trap many of the flavor compounds. The right glassware can support a creamy head for longer thus helping you enjoy a perfect balance of foam and beer flavors with each glorious sip.
At McFleshman’s, we use a stemmed tulip for our 547 IPA to help concentrate the aromas and focus the foam for each sip. Our fruited beers will also be served in the these glasses to enhance the flavor profile of the added fruit. Our Hildy Pilsner is served in a Tapered Pilsner glass which helps show off the clear pale color. The eyes taste just as much as the tongue does!
For our cask ales, you’ll see us pour our White Horse Porter or Mild Angel into a dimpled mug. The thicker glass helps keep the cellar temperature beer cool longer while the dimples help focus the light into the darker colored beers. These glasses were historically made of either ceramic or clay as glass was a luxury not available to the common folk until it could be mass produced in the later 19th century. Our Nonick pint captures the sweet aromas of English Ales and is designed for standing and drinking with its bump, which is the common way ales are enjoyed in a British Pub.
At the moment, McFleshman’s serves from TEN different glasses (and counting as we add more styles). If you’d like to sample any of these styles, you’ll get a Brandy Snifter which concentrates the aromas of a small amount such that you can get the full effect of the sample without having to indulge in a full pint, although odds are you’ll want to after taking your first sip! And rest assured, you’ll never get a beer in a Shaker Pint Glass, which were originally used for mixing cocktails and never intended for beer–we reserve the Shaker Pint glasses for water which thankfully has no flavor compounds to redirect!
So come by McFleshman’s to enjoy some delicious beer from the appropriate glassware. And if you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend with some bottled or canned beer, please take a moment and pour that beer into a glass. You’ll open up some extra avenues of enjoyment and have an even happier day!