Can the shape of your glass really make that much difference to a beer’s flavor? For small-batch brewers like Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, and Bells Brewery, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
These craft beer favorites worked with Spiegelau to develop specialized beer glasses that bring out the flavors of IPAs, stouts, and American wheat beers. Today, we’re diving deep to give you the information your customers want to know: How do these glasses work?
Anatomy of a Spiegelau Craft Beer Glass
- Laser cut rim: Provides crisp, clean delivery in every sip.
- Mouth opening: Wide mouth delivers beer evenly across palate, hitting the different palate “zones” that detect different flavors. This enhances mouthfeel and offers a harmony of sweetness and acidity. The wide mouth also allows you to fully experience a beer’s unique aromatics.
- Thin walls: Maintains proper beer temperature longer. We think of thick walls as insulating, but in reality, they can transfer more heat into beer than a thin wall. Thick walls can also cause beers to lose their fizz faster.
- Crystalline construction: Lead-free crystal offers purity and clarity, and is sturdy enough to be used in a glass much thinner than the standard pint glass. This thinner construction allows for greater flexibility in glass shape.
In general, wide mouth openings in beer glasses are correlated with aeration—the wider the mouth, the faster the beer goes flat. But Spiegelau solves that problem by adjusting the shape of each glass to suit the style of beer it’s meant for.
Beer characteristics: Hoppy, citric, aromatic, a top-selling American craft beer
Standout features: Ridges assist with head retention by re-carbonating as you sip.
Developed with: Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada
Experts say: “[I]t acts a sort of olfactory cannon that shoots the hop, concentrates it, and pushes it towards your nose. It doesn’t just let it linger on the top of the beer in the glass.”
American IPAs stand out because of their bold, hops-driven flavor. A common woe for the IPA drinker is head retention and loss of fizz. Spiegelau’s IPA glass addresses both with a series of ridges, which re-carbonates the beer as you sip and promotes better head.
Here’s a tip: Advise your customers not to fill a Spiegelau glass all the way. Glasses should be slightly less than full to give you room to appreciate the beer’s aroma.
Beer characteristics: Roasty, rich mouthfeel, bold flavors include coffee and chocolate
Standout features: Angle of the rim consolidates aroma to maximize enjoyment of a stout’s complex flavor profile.
Developed with: Left Hand Brewing Company, Rogue Ales
Experts say: “A revolution in glassware.”
Stouts have a lot going on. Their flavor profiles are deep and complex, spanning notes like cocoa, espresso, cherries, prunes, and even tar. Roasted barley gives them their signature dark hue and caramelized taste. And they feel thick, sometimes even chewy, as you swallow.
Spiegelau compliments stouts’ richness with a carefully angled rim, which focuses the beer’s aroma to heighten appreciation of its flavor. It’s a simple, but crucial design choice that puts the smallest distance possible between you and the stout.
American Wheat Beer Glass
Beer characteristics: Subtle, refreshing, high carbonation, easy drinking
Standout features: Capacious bowl retains wheat beer aromas
Developed with: Bells Brewery
Experts say: “I was really surprised at the ability of this bowl shape to both capture and focus […] a reservoir of aroma.” “Taste it the way we intended it to.”
American wheat beers are a well-known gateway brew: they’re light and refreshing, which makes them accessible to a wide range of palates. But sometimes, the delicate aromas of wheat beer can be lost altogether.
Spiegelau’s American wheat beer glass has a wide bowl preserves the beer’s fragrances, while its smooth interior and angled lip delivers those fragrances straight to the nostrils.
The secret to a great beer glass: passion and science
Spiegelau’s craft beer glasses were made possible through a unique collaboration with brewers who are outstanding in their field. To learn more about the process, or to get an in-depth look at how an individual glass was designed, watch Spiegelau’s video series:
Now that you’ve learned why Spiegelau glasses deliver an unparalleled drinking experience, we hope your customers will get more out of their beer purchases (and view you as a craft beer rock star). Whether they’re newcomers to the world of craft beers or old pros, everyone deserves to enjoy these beverages as they were meant to be tasted.