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Building a Better Beer Glass

Posted June 20, 2007 11:04 AM by Steve Melito

The Boston Beer Company has commissioned a new glass that is designed to make beer taste better. According to Boston.com, the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Pint Glass has "more curves than (Red Sox pitcher) Josh Beckett throws in an eight-inning outing." Yankees fans and can-crushing traditionalists may dislike Boston Beer's new design, but company president Jim Koch is smiling from ear to ear. "If the beer tastes better, you sell more beer," Koch explains. Today, the Boston Lager Pint Glass is the best-selling item at Koch's Sam Adams brewery.

The secret of the Boston Lager Pint Glass is its shape. According to marketing materials from Samuel Adams, beer drinkers can't help but notice the vessel's beaded rim, which "creates turbulence, releasing aromas as beer enters the mouth". An outward-turning lip enhances "sweetness detection" while thinner walls keep a pint colder in a beer drinker's hands. Glass designers who enjoy a cold one from time to time will also appreciate the "nucleation site lasered into the bottom for increased hop aroma release". But will they feel like they've been left out of the party?

Unlike most beer glasses, Koch's creation isn't the product of glass designers or even marketers. Instead, the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Pint Glass was inspired by a French wine expert who joined Boston Beer's board and convinced Koch about the importance of glassware design. After personally testing 150 types of beer glasses, Koch submitted sample vessels to TIAX Laboratories of Cambridge, Massachusetts. "This was unique", TIAX's Jonaki Egenolf explained, "the first time anyone took a close look at beer glassware".

TIAX scientists first established a flavor profile for Sam Adams Lager in both bottles and kegs. They then compared 20 to 30 glass designs for specifications such as rim angle and top diameter. Later, TIAX flavor experts conducted an in-depth study which tested more than a dozen new designs. Finally, a winning prototype was named and then handed off to a German glassmaker. "We were not wearing the hat of a consumer or industrial designer", Egenolf told Boston.com. Jim Koch "didn't want us to focus on aesthetics. It was all about qualities like 'mouth tingle'."

So how do beer drinkers like the new Samuel Adams Boston Lager Pint Glass? Although college students may be disappointed that the glass will not, as Koch explains, "make Natty Light taste like Sam Adams", bar owners in the Boston area are cashing in. As Mark Kadish of Allston explains, the new glass is "comfortable to hold" and "really does affect the taste" of beer. Kadish's Sunset Grill & Tap serves 112 different brews, but don't accuse him of being a suds snob. "I'm a guy who'll happily drink beer out of a Dixie Cup."

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#1

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/20/2007 10:48 PM

Moose:

Thank you for a subject that should garner a passionate following and almost everyone will actually know what they are talking about. The story says that "God made Man in Her own image and earthly habits" Beer was invented shortly after they got the boot from the "Garden", and since the first batch of mash went sour we have not been able to either quit drinking it or talking about it when we are not.

From a purely "old School" style of beer drinking, "Yours or Mine" I can say from an un-founded opinion, that the curvy glass will cause two much foam for the average married guy. When the Lovely Wife has cleaned up after you have spilled foam about a dozen times, that pretty glass thing will be holding flowers the next time you see it.

I will bet that only in a Bar will you be able to serve that glass regularly

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/21/2007 8:18 AM

You're welcome, dbdwoods. Here's what the glass looks like, courtesy of The Boston Globe.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/06/2007 10:02 AM

Here is a more accurate analogy

1. Glass Narrows - Creates stress point so glass will break prematurely

2. Thinner glass - Less insulation between air and beer, Therefore beer will warm faster. Also thinner glass is prone to premature breakage

3. Smaller Grip -Smaller base ensures glasses are easier to tip over and prematurely break as well as spill more beer that must be replaced

4 Bead on rim - also has a bump where the glass was pulled away. This bump creates a stress area that is easily chipped off when stressed with ; heating from washing, and Cooling when chilling. This leads to premature breakage.

5. Glass shape - Bulge Combined with thinner glass; provides more surface area for beer to warm to room temperature. Also when tipped, ensures the part closest to the rim stress point hits the bar first. This leads to premature breakage and beer that must be replaced.

6. Nucleation site - causes bubbles, therefore the beer will go stale prematurely. Beer glass is more likely to get thrown and broken. Both beer and glass must be replaced.

Summary

  • more beer glasses are sold
  • more beer is sold
  • the customer gets premature .......
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#13
In reply to #4

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/16/2007 11:12 PM

It's not the glass per se but the shape of the drinking glass fashioned from regular glass glass material.

The effect or impression on the consumer is probably half real and half the result of hype.

Every tourist will want one for a souvenir! (And a bottle of brew to go with it.)

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Anonymous Poster
#2

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/21/2007 7:49 AM

The debate on the perfect beer glass has been going on forever. Let me set the record straight. The only proper beer glass is a heavy clear glass mug. A 16oz. size allows room for a nice head. A thick man sized handle is required. Then chill it in the freezer for several hours. The thermal mass keeps the beer cold. The clear glass is required so that you can see when the level is approaching 1/4 full so that arrangements can be made in advance to re-fill it.

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Anonymous Poster
#7
In reply to #2

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/25/2007 7:13 AM

"has been going on forever"

The debate on anything to do with beer has been going on forever. Let me set the record straight: Beer is present for about 14 thousand years. If it is to be counted according to Creationists, beer has been here before the creation of the universe.

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Anonymous Poster
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/25/2007 8:16 AM

Yup, Ben Franklin said it best:

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

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#14
In reply to #2

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/25/2007 8:01 PM

I love it when someone offers their expertise to "Set the record straight" . Then they sign in as 'Guest' and spew nonsense.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/26/2007 8:08 AM

I'll drink to that!

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#3

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/21/2007 8:18 AM

Obviously the only perfect beer glass is one that is always full...

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#5

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/21/2007 9:24 AM

It depends on the type\style\temperature of beer what type of glass it should use. Using a frozen mug on a glass of Guinness would turn out terrible. German beer should only be served in heavy liter mugs. Guinness in a pint glass. American lagers, maybe, in a frozen mug. That glass works for Sam Adams but probibly doesnt apply to all beers. Interesting idea however.

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#6

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

06/22/2007 10:01 AM

Drinking Beer from a glass! What an unusual idea. I don't think it will ever catch on. Beer from a can when hunting or fishing is the only way. You can carry a couple of extra cans in your cargo pockets while wade fishing, saves a trip to the cooler. Bar drinking requires beer in longneck bottles for several reasons. In bars (I don't know about pubs) there may be (better be or relocate) girls. The longneck is used to assess the mood or inclination of said ladies by the way they hold it in their hand. I don't have to explain if you think about it. Note: if there has been contact and the indications are "no deal" then application of a small amount of Tequila down the longneck may change things, just a suggestion. Next, talking about the release of gases and capturing the aroma etc. Pouring beer into a glass wastes the gases to the air and can not be thoroughly enjoyed. Direct from can or bottle to stomach, and then release the gasses. When released and returned to the mouth and nose, not only can the bouquet be enjoyed to its fullest but also a very satisfying release of pressure in the internals accompanied by pleasing vocals not mention the admiration of your buddies. There are some Mexican beers that if the released gasses are directed through the nose will bring tears to the eyes, most pleasing. If some of the bubbles are retained in the stomach and allowed to pass on through the other systems another opportunity to be admired by your buddies will present itself shortly ( down a pickled boiled egg for greater effect). So, all in all, so much is lost by this glass idea I think I should not even consider it.

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Anonymous Poster
#16
In reply to #6

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

10/22/2007 12:40 PM

I like ur way of thinking mister,try drinking 10 pints of guinness and lettin one rip in a cramped grocery store,priceless

seamus,tipperary

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#10

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/10/2007 11:55 AM

What if this new beer mug malfunctions and makes the beer taste bad? Only in American.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/10/2007 12:14 PM

Exactly, Why take a chance? Taste best right out of a longneck. OH, that Corona with a lime (to kill the skunk taste) and a little salt sprinkled on the outside of the neck for a lick now and then, UMMM.

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#12

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

07/14/2007 11:58 PM

Wow. Just give me a few one-half-litres of Hacker-Pschorr WiezenbraĆ¼ served in the Hefe-type beerglass and I'll eventually forget how special the Hefe glass appears to be. Gee, I always thought it was just my love of the beer itself, and now I may suspect the glass has something to do with it.

That said, I think that Bud Light will still taste like bitter water even if it is poured into a Hefe. I think some things are beyond repair!

Proooooooooostttttttt!

Ing. Robert Forbus

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Anonymous Poster
#17

Re: Building a Better Beer Glass

02/26/2008 9:18 AM

all i know is i only drink beer from my 2 litre glass boot- 'Das Boot' !!

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agua_doc (1); Anonymous Poster (5); dadw5boys (1); dbdwoods (1); Ing. Robert Forbus (1); JasBond (2); msquire311 (1); Steve Melito (2); Stirling Stan (1); techno (1); TexasCharley (1)

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