August 21, 2013 by 250 Beers
Back in February of this year I published a small piece (here) regarding the newly released beer glass from Spiegelau…designed specifically for drinking IPA. It had been developed in conjunction with American breweries Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head and was widely available in the US.
After a brief exchange of emails between myself and a wonderfully helpful lady at Spiegelau Australia, I determined that the glasses wouldn’t be available in Australia until July/August this year. Bummer. It was going to be a long wait until I could slurp my favoured style of beer in a glass designed for its enhanced enjoyment. There was a plus point though because that wonderfully helpful lady at Spiegelau (who shall remain anonymous) took my details and offered to send me a glass to road-test when they arrived in Australia. Great!
Much has been written recently about Spiegelau’s Beer Classics Beer Connoisseur collection; a set of four glasses designed especially for drinking four different styles of beers from. James from Beer Bar Band had an experience with them during Good Beer Week in May and Liam from Drunken Speculation had a similar eye opening experience during The Queensland Home Brewers Conference.
With the existing Spiegelau beer glasses range getting so much good press, I was very keen to carry out my own road-test on the IPA glass.
I’d promised myself that I’d trial the glass with an IPA brewed in Queensland for no other reason than it just seemed appropriate. The arrival of my new glasses coincided with a recent visit to All Inn Brewing and I’d deliberately taken one of my squealers along with me so that I could get it filled with one of Harley’s beers; Pocahontas American IPA. She clocks in at a sensibly sessionable 5.6%.
A few days later, I was pouring my litre of Pocahontas into four of my own differently shaped glasses. First to get wet was my 330ml ever-present traditional craft beer glass (I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a traditional craft beer glass but that’s what it said on the box when I purchased it some time ago). Next up was a small (200ml) pilsner style glass (it’s the one I got from Brewbake) then my Boot Factory boot glass (250ml) got involved. Lastly, the 500ml IPA glass took the rest from the squealer.
I have to say that when news of the IPA glass first broke my very, very first thought was “No way. Marketing gimmick for sure”. That immediate thought dispersed gradually and was blown to smithereens during my testing.
The glass is shaped to bring the traditional hoppy notes found in IPA’s to the fore. Let me tell you that it certainly does. The pilsner glass offered nothing at all in terms of whiff. Neither did the boot-shaped glass. The craft beer glass did slightly but the aroma was nowhere near as pronounced as that emanating from the IPA glass. My scepticism had been quashed.
The base of the IPA glass has probably caused more of a stir in beer circles than anything else. It assisted in keeping a head on my beer just like the official blurb said it would. As I got half-way through my Pocahontas and tilted the glass towards my beer-loving lips, the top of my beer (the meniscus if you will) rippled along the ridges of the base thus generating a head as I tilted the glass back upright. Only the Boot Factory glass produced additional head but only at the end of my slurping from it. The final few mouthfuls got trapped in the ‘toe’, created a bubble and then an accidental head. Too little too late.
That base will prove handy too. I’ve let a few wet glasses of beer slip through my hands over the years where the glass has been coated in condensation. Problem solved here! No more slippage.
The glass is novel, yes, but a must for any craft beer drinker with a soft spot for India Pale Ales such as I.
Not only did I feel privileged to have been sent a pair of these great vessels but I also got to quaff a litre of IPA inside fifteen minutes in a test with no set rules. The IPA glass was the all-round winner but I was a close second thanks to Spiegelau Australia.