Friday, December 21, 2007

Choosing Glassware - Perfection or Practicality?

My opinion on proper glassware is no secret. There's a poll on that caught by attention this morning. Which Glass? asks the question "If you could use only one glass (or type of glass) for the rest of your life, what would you choose?" The answer options are taken from from's glassware page:
  • Flute Glass
  • Goblet (or Chalice)
  • Mug (or Seidel, Stein)
  • Pilsner Glass (or Pokal)
  • Pint Glass (or Becker, Nonic, Tumbler)
  • Snifter
  • Stange (Slender Cylinder)
  • Tulip
  • Weizen Glass
  • Oversized Wine Glass
As I pondered the question, my first thought was that my current favorites are the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Glasses and some Cervoise-style glasses, neither which are on the list. But, if I could have only one glass, would it be one of those? Surprisingly, I realized that it would be a utilitarian pint glass, and more specifically, the shaker pint, even though I rarely use those these days. Yes, that heavy, created-for-mixing-drinks-not beer, much-maligned shaker pint. Why? It's stable, easy to hold, has a wide mouth, and is easy to store. Additionally, if I only had one glass for the rest of my life, I'd want one that's not so fragile that I have to worry about breaking it! So, the Pint Glass option got my vote.

When the results graph came up, I was quite surprised. The pint glass was in the lead by a significant margin. As I write this, the pint glass has 63.01% of the 73 votes cast. Check any online beer forum and you'll see plenty of raving about the proper glassware, yet when it all comes down to it, the plain ol' pint glass still rules. It's only fair to note, that as you read through the accompanying thread, it's apparent that the nonic pint is a specific favorite. The shaker still draws disdain from many beer geeks. Nonetheless, the poll results surprised me. The perfect glassware is one thing, but utility wins in the end.

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