How Beer Glass Impacts Taste: Does Shape Matter?
Who doesn't love a good beer? While others may be okay to drink beer from the bottle or can, that is not the case for most, especially for draft beers.
Does beer glass have any impact on the taste of the beer? Three things matter in choosing a good beer glass - rim, head, speed, and smell.
Let's try dissecting this.
One of the most important things in choosing a beer glass is the rim. Beer, unlike wine, does not need aeration. The more carbonation is lost, the flatter the beer tastes. To lessen the loss of carbonation, a glass with a narrower rim does the trick.
The shape of the glass dictates the smell of the beer. The formation of the head is a good way to keep the good smell of the beer. The smell of the beer dictates its taste, effectively masking anything foul about the beer.
How does one drink beer in a more sophisticated way? Use a beautiful glass that will effectively mask the appearance of the beer. Different glasses such as a pilsner glass, chalice, or weizen are good choices to improve the appearance of the beer.
The shape of the glass helps retain the aroma of the beer. Different beers need different glasses since each kind of beer has its specific demands.
There are 4 basic types of beer glasses, each for a specific beer type.
Pilsner glasses are the sparkle, clearness, and bubbles of light beers. Hefeweizen is best used for German-style beer. This glass helps to highlight the aroma of the beer, giving your nose the sensation of bananas and cloves. Lager beers are best served in a flute, not the champagne flute, though.
IPA and stout glasses are best used to serve IPA and stout beers, respectively. The wide, open mouth of the glass allows for the ramping up of the flavors and aroma. The glass design gives the drinker the citrus and piney aroma of the beer.
Stemmed glasses are best used to serve sour ales, sour beer, and old ales. These glasses capture and hold the aroma of the beer by retaining the froth and acidity. The stem keeps the drinker's hand away from the beer so it can stay cold longer.
Beer mugs, on the other hand, are the most easily identifiable beer glass. Because of its wide rim, it allows for fast chugging of the beer so it can be drunk before it gets flat. The wide rim of the glass lets the froth evaporate fast, making the beer flat faster.
One thing is sure, the right beer glass improves the flavor of the beer and makes it a pleasurable experience. Pouring the beer into the glass creates a foamy head with the carbonation called into action. Active carbonation allows the bubbles in the head to burst, giving your nose a good sniff of the aromas in the beer.
Since we know how taste and aroma complement each other, taste being highlighted by the aromas we perceive from the food and drinks. This is basically why food tastes bland when you have colds - a clogged nose cannot take in the aroma and send the signal to your brain how a particular food and drink should smell and taste.
One good reason beermakers use clarifying agents in their beers is that a murky beer may feel gross to drink. Another function of the glass, aside from highlighting the aromas, is to display the overall appearance of the beer.
Dimpled glasses trick our mind to think of the enticing beer, making the brain perceive it to taste delicious. Dark stouts and golden-colored lagers work best served in clear glasses. It allows the drinker to see the beauty that the beermakers wanted them to see.
The beer glass may be a small thing but it plays an important role in how you can enjoy your beer. It is best to understand the beer type so you can use the best beer glass possible to make the best of your beer.