Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Raise (the Right) Glass; Here's a Guide to Selecting the Appropriate Glass to Best Enjoy Your Favorite Craft Beer

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Raise (the Right) Glass; Here's a Guide to Selecting the Appropriate Glass to Best Enjoy Your Favorite Craft Beer

Article excerpt

Byline: Roger Bull

Yes, all the beer choices available today can make choosing pretty complicated. And it gets worse (or better) because, in addition to choosing the beer, now you've got to choose the right glass to pour it into.

But it's OK. We're here to help.

Grassroots Natural Market has about a dozen styles of glasses, but buyers aren't always discerning.

"Usually, people just grab whatever glass shape they think is really cool," said Preben Olsen, who's in charge of the beer at Grassroots and a partner in upcoming Aardwolf Brewing Co.

But there are shapes: Tulips, flutes, snifters. Tall and short. Wide and narrow.

The first thing to remember is that many beer glasses are sold with a brewery's brand on them. Steve Flores, owner of Kickbacks Gastropub, likes to match all the 84 beers he has on draft and 700 or so in bottles with the appropriate glassware.

"I serve them in the right glass," he said. "That's what the brewery intended."

Olsen tries to use brewery-branded glasses, too. But he often goes back to three basic styles: Pilsner, tulip and imperial pint glass. He refuses to drink out of the standard tapered pint glass, called a shaker pint.

"They're utilitarian, but they were used as a cheap alternative when there wasn't much good beer," he said. "There's a just a bad vibe."

"Pints are not ideal," Ben Davis, head brewer and owner of Intuition Ale Works, said of the straight-sided shaker glasses. "But they're economical and easy to stack."

The different types of glasses do have a purpose, often to accentuate the beer's head or capture the aroma the way a tulip or snifter does.

"If you're drinking a beer that has a complex aroma," Davis said, "it really helps focus the aromatics and enjoy it a lot better."

By the way, pay attention to the size of the glass as well as the style. If you're pouring a 12-ounce bottle, use a 14-ounce glass to leave room for the head. But you want the head to reach the top of the glass, so don't use a full pint glass for 12 ounces of beer. …

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