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What Makes A "good" Beer Glass?

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Fat Bastard

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I have an assortment of glasses here. Lots of old schooners and nonic pint glasses nicked from pubs when I was less fat, but just as bastardly, and some promo tulips, half litre steins and others.

In the last year or two, I've treated myself to some stemmed Reidel and Spiegelau stemmed glasses and for consistency I normally sample my brews and 'serious' beers with the Spiegelau tulips. I've found that both these excellent quality glasses give shithouse head retention, presumably because the glass is so perfect there are no nucleation points for bubbles to form and the beer looks flat and has little or no head unless an exceptionally aggressive pour is used. They hold lacing just fine, but I've found when pouring my beer into "foreign" glasses they seem overcarbed, and the feedback from the NSW and Castle Hill comps has confirmed this.

I poured some of my blonde ale into a shitty 20 year old pub schooner (not the etched bottom kind) and it had fantastic head retention, if not a bit too much head retention given that it looked like an ice-cream sticking over the rim of the glass, and it lasted all the way to the bottom. In the Spigelau, it develops a head that fades super quickly to a couple of millimetres of foam on top of the beer. All glasses used for beer and wine here git a run in the dishwasher, then a rinse in dilute vinegar and plain hot water and dried with a cloth specifically kept for glass drying.

Is buying fancy glasses a waste of money?
 

yum beer

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Glass shape and size does play a part in the taste of different beers but IMO the flavour and aromas produced by a beer that creates a continous amount of co2
in a headmaster/energy glass outways the 'wanky bullshit' look of a fancy glass.
I started to track down fancy glasses and have given up for same reasons and mainly use headmaster glases. If I know a particular brew has a good level of carb that sticks around I may use a traditional pilsener glass instead.
I did have a beer at a pub in a nearby town and they had pommy style straight side glasses that had the nucleation points, have not seen these in any retailer, would love
to find some, great glass for bitters and pales.
 

kelbygreen

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B&B total supply's have a few different ones they supply to the industry and will sell singles if the box is open. It works out pretty cheap to and have the crown headmaster in a few different glass shapes.

put it this way I this it was $2 a glass for headmaster conical and ebay wanted $23 plus delivery for 6 lol and it worked out like $1.60 I think a glass for a box
 

Diesel80

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B&B total supply's have a few different ones they supply to the industry and will sell singles if the box is open. It works out pretty cheap to and have the crown headmaster in a few different glass shapes.

put it this way I this it was $2 a glass for headmaster conical and ebay wanted $23 plus delivery for 6 lol and it worked out like $1.60 I think a glass for a box

Agree with this. Don't f*ck about. Ring up catering supply company and locate suitable glasses. Buy a case or two of glasses, split amongst mates if you don't need them all. So cheap, and 'pub quality' if that is important.

Cheers,

D80
 

eamonnfoley

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A good beer glass is a clean beer glass.

I have the complete spiegelau range (various birthday/xmas presents), and love them all. What I have noticed on the photo threads is that a lot of people do not clean their glasses properly.

I'm picking up one of these babies on my next visit to Germany in December:
http://www.spuelboy.de/
 

bum

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The question stands. :p
 

Fat Bastard

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The question stands. :p
As it pertains to beer, even though I'm sorely tempted to lower the tone of the non-chat part of AHB?

Nah, it's probably not a massive worry. I like the shape of the Spiegelau glasses because they let me stick my nose in and get a good whiff, and with a fill and an inch of head, they hold a good amount of beer and provide a good surface area to sniff lots of hop aroma.

The problem I have with the "good" glasses is that now I've tuned my bottle carbonation to them, the head is massive in any other glasses I own. I pre pour the bottles into a set of jugs* I have and it gets good head** but nothing in the glass. The nastier and more abused the glass, the better head it gives. Much like life really.***

* Am I lowering the tone yet?
** What about now?
*** Too far?
 

bum

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The problem I have with the "good" glasses is that now I've tuned my bottle carbonation to them, the head is massive in any other glasses I own.
Any joy if you open the bottle a little earlier than you need to?

Fellatio.
 

eamonnfoley

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The problem I have with the "good" glasses is that now I've tuned my bottle carbonation to them, the head is massive in any other glasses I own. I pre pour the bottles into a set of jugs* I have and it gets good head** but nothing in the glass. The nastier and more abused the glass, the better head it gives. Much like life really.***
I dont think Carbonation should be tuned for head. You should just target the volumes of co2, and what tastes right for the style. Work on your head using other methods (process, recipe). I'm sure the tulip glass shape has more to do with it as it is so round. The tulip has the lowest head retention of the Speigelau range in my experience.
 

Bizier

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I watched this the other night:
It goes into Bamforth's perspective on foam stability.

I am not worried because I always have plenty of head retention in my beer and I carb until it drinks well. I am never worried if my glass does not replenish the head. So long as the beer tastes good, I am happy.
 
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chefsantos

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I think certain glasses for certain beers, but there is something about sitting at a bar and drinking out of a pint glass while reading the newspaper.
 

mje1980

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The best beer glass is a full one.

I like the headmaster ones, but i have none at the moment, so the good old nonic, or dimple mug works great for my ales ( 95% of what i brew ). As far as head retention, i've been adding a 15 minute rest at 72c for the past few months. Gives a great lacing on all my beers. And after much trial and error, the dishwasher seems to do a very good job of cleaning glasses. I avoided the dishwasher for years because i thought the detergent might leave too much soap, and equal no head retention, but thankfully, i was wrong!
 

Kranky

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Buying good glass ware is not a waste of money unless you stick them in the dishwasher. It fucks the glass.
 

petesbrew

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I usually find the dirtiest glasses are owned by people with dishwashers.
 

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