Does the shape of your glass affect how a beer tastes? (Excerpt)
Like premium lager and craft beer, branded glassware is on the rise. Can the shape of your tankard really affect the taste of your tipple, asks Jonathan Wells
Source: The Telegraph
By Jonathan Wells
29 Jul 2015
There’s nothing better than a glass of cold beer on a hot day, and with summer in full swing it’s a sure bet that barbecues and beer gardens alike are seeing their fair share of use at the moment.
British men and women have been enjoying chilled bevvies since the advent of the cool box – but the observant summer drinker might have noticed a change in beer culture over the past few years. Whereas once lager came served in a straight pint glass regardless of the exact drink you had ordered, individual tipples now have their own custom made containers.
The boom in these bespoke jars has coincided with the rise in demand for premium and craft lager. And now that we’re taking the yellow fizzy stuff seriously, beer manufacturers want us to know that each beer has its own meticulously designed glass, which has been carefully engineered to coax the best out of the liquid.
Sound like a clever marketing ploy to you? Maybe – but, according to Britain’s first Beer Sommelier of the Year, Jane Peyton, “the shape of a glass can definitely affect the taste and drinking experience of the beer.”
“The rim is especially important,” explains Peyton, who is also the UK ambassador for Friends of Glass. “Its size affects the way a person drinks the beer.”
“Narrow mouthed rims encourage sipping and so the beer reaches the front and sides of the tongue first, where sweetness and acidity register. A wide mouthed rim encourages glugging which directs the beer to the back of the tongue where bitterness registers.”
However, that’s not the only benefit to the drinks company. “The glass is also a chance for the brewing company to market their brand,” Peyton observes, “and they will choose a shape that suits their perceived customer.”
So, what beer goes with what glass – and why, exactly?