Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dear Mr BeerCrusade (a letter from a reader)

Dear Mr. BeerCrusade®
I want to turn this into a sort of "Dear Abby" column in your blog. Something personal, heartfelt, and more than a little g@y.
Was at the Regatta Bar last night and followed [my friend's] lead in ordering a Chimay. I remember about 8 years ago I first heard of Chimay and could not wrap my head around expensive, high end beer. I drank a fair share back then, but nothing nicer than an occasional Newcastle. So I've probably had 10 Chimays over the past 4 years, and I think its really good beer, however it is served in what is effectively a wine glass. This is wack. You can talk all you want about the right glassware for the right beer and all of that, but its wack. I don’t want to sip beer out of a wine glass, bourbon snifter, or a crystal goblet. Not that I need a huge hulking bucket of beer; a simple pint glass will be fine.
Am I an uneducated ass for having this opinion? Am I an uneducated ass for other reasons? Possibly so, but the fact remains, specialty beer glassware is wack. Your thoughts?

Dear A. -
I agree. Beer should be drunk out of the following: it's original bottle or can, the tap, a pint glass, a pitcher, a yard, a beer mug or a funnel. All else is suspect. Hoegarden is often served out of what looks like a margarita glass. If that's what you are going for, you might as well just order the margarita. Thanks for the question


Mike said...

I'm going to have to go on record and disagree. Beer glassware exists for high quality beers and is used to enhance the experience of enjoying the beer. For Chimay (and other Belgian ales), the goblet shape is intended to expose more of the surface of the beer to air, allowing the beer's distinctive aroma to be released. The idea is that your sense of taste and sense of smell are closely related.

Plus, Europeans have been drinking beer for hundreds of years longer than Americans. I think it is safe to assume that they experimented with tons of different styles of glasses before deciding on the goblet for Chimay.

That being said, some glassware is a cheap trick, and seems to be intended to reduce the amount of beer that you get. For example, I was once served a beer in a glass that was about 10 ounces. That sucked.

jay said...

I recommend trying the Sam Adams glasses. I find that they do make a difference, making the bottled beer taste very similar to tap beer.