Drink Your Beer

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
June 2, 2010

Speiglau beer glass


Whole Foods Beer Room
95 E Houston St

@ Bowery
New York, NY 10002

Store hours: 
8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. 7 days a week.

Does the glass you taste your beer in make a difference? Absolutely. I’m only saying this from personal experience. I feel just as strongly about the glassware I drink my wine (especially champagne) from.

In a recent blind tasting of Italian whites with my wine group, the heavy and thick glasses provided by our venue that day really dulled the taste of some stellar wines. That same week, another blind tasting of Yellow Tail reserve wines served out of impeccable glassware at The Modern presented the usually overlooked label in a more favorable light. Trust me, glassware makes a difference.

Nevertheless, I’m not into having a glass for every type of grape varietal out there. Nor do I need to match every beer to a glass. If you’re at a pub, they will match it for you. But for home enjoyment, it suffice to have one good beer glass to enhance the flavors.

Recently, I tasted a series of beers (from Pilsner to stout), in four glasses that make up the Spiegelau Beer Classics Collection. I mixed and matched beer types and glasses, trying pilsner in the lager glass and stout in the two different (Tall Pilsner and Stemmed Pilsner) Pilsner glasses. After the round of tasting, I was convinced that the Stemmed Pilsner (2 for $29.99) brought out the best flavors of all the beers I tried. It’s the shortest glass in the collection, but the tulip shape really gives the aromas the best flow. Perhaps this is the wine critic in me speaking. So, if I were to have a good beer glass at home, this one would do the trick.

Here are some of my favorite beer picks for the summer:

Radeberger Pilsner ($1.99)
Radeberger, Germany
(Simple and to the point. A classic Pilsner. Bitter finish. Inexpensive, satisfying choice.)

Tröegs Brothers’ Sunshine Pils ($1.99)
Harrisburg, PA, USA
(Refreshing. Citrus notes predominate. Sweet and nutty. I wanted a second right after I finished my first bottle.)

Mikkeller 10 IPA ($5.99)
Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium
(This is Mikkeller’s blend of their famous 10 single hops (Tomahawk, Amarillo, Warrior, East Kent Golding, Chinook, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Nugget, Simcoe and Centennial) into one super beer. I was so taken by the Amarillo that I had to try this one, and Mikkeller does not disappoint. This IPA is extremely smooth and integrated. Deep, dark caramel flavor stands out with a sweetness that lingers. Lots of nuance and spice. A beer lover’s beer.)

All this beer talk and tasting makes me want to start a well-curated beer selection in my fridge, a slew of beer styles for different moods and different foods. But who wants to have to think about the individual beer glasses? I’d go with one glass that performs the best and focus on the beer experience instead.


Comments (1)

Todd Wernstrom

Jun 2, 09:07 AM

Only you could fit Yellow Tail, Italian whites (very underrated),pils and glassware all in one piece. And cogently!

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