Monday, November 5, 2012

How big is your beer glass?

Let's cover a little ground. I'm told I was a bit hard recently on the Beer Brewer's Association and their recommendations for beer drinkers.

I'll give you a moment to digest this:

Before we get to the video, let's review the purpose of a beer glass, shall we? Two years ago, Lew Bryson, Managing Editor of Whiskey Advocate and other noteworthy accolades, reminded his readers that above all, a beer glass is first and foremost responsible for ferrying beer from bottle or brew tap into your mouth (Lew also gets props for stating other obvious yet enlightening soundbites like, "beer isn't partisan.")

Lew's thoughts on the "right" beer glass:
"I hear a lot of things about beer glasses. They should be 'the right glass for the beer.' Some beers, apparently, need a glass that opens up to release their aroma, while others need a glass that tapers in at the top to hold their more delicate aromas in. [...]  
The beer doesn't taste as good? Please. The beer tastes at least as good, and if you're concentrating enough to think you notice a difference, you're a geek, so use any damned glass you want. We should have a different glass for every beer?" --An Idea That Doesn't Hold Water, Lew Bryson's Seen Through A Glass

That there was a venue, even two years ago, for such assertions, sort of argues the point that the desire for an "enhanced beer experience" has gotten out of hand. You might take issue with my calling this out of wack enthusiasm "beer snobbery," and that is your right, but I still think the Brewers Association has done a poor job of representing themselves as anything otherwise in the promotional videos I posted last week.

Good beer tastes good. No matter the vessel. It's very fancy of us to drink from a snifter or any other manner of wide-mouthed glass and allow our craft beers to unleash their full aromas, or to slowly sip our high gravity beers from smaller glasses (likely wiser, too). But when we begin making pronouncements about the "appropriate" glass like apostles interpreting saintly, vapored commandments, elucidating the inner brain of the beer glass in order to enlighten the less sophisticated on the edicts of beer like the god-damned beer whisperer, I get a little squirmy.

Let's review.


Oh, and p.s.... being a snob doesn't make you a bad person, it just makes you elitist. I'll still grab a drink with you and argue the finer points of imbibing.

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