For most of the world, when a pint is ordered, the standard “Conical” pint glass is filled to the brim with the fermentable of our choice. While always something to be enjoyed, and savored, many go unawares of the host of glassware that has been created, to bring out the intricate nuisances of beer. From the earliest vessels, made of china (and used all over the English countryside), to the well known German beer Stein/Mug, there are almost as many glass styles, as bottles of beer in my ‘fridge!
Until the end of the Victorian era, many pub-goers stuck to the Pewter-Tankard. This hardy vessel held a good deal of the bitter stuff, but wasn’t very attractive. As technology progressed, and lighting at your favorite pub improved, owners began to notice the inordinate amount of sediment that plagued the pre-filtration era. Luckily, that area of tech was also coming around, so the beer clarity began to improve dramatically. This gave rise to an up-and-comer, the 10-sided, dimpled beer mug. While this guy lasted through the 20’s & 30’s, he was pushed aside for another familiar choice, the dimpled mug.
Now I could go on, and on….and on, through the 1990’s, but I think you get the jist: There is a wealth of history, showing all of the various glassware styles that have been created, to enhance the imbibing experience of any beer. The German’s have contributed greatly, as well as those Trappists’ from Belgium, amongst a host of others. Next time you come across a gastro pub, stop in, order a good fermentable, and keep your eye on the vessel the barman uses. You may be surprised at what you get!
a nice long chill!
Clockwise from top left: Conical, earthenware stein, standard pilsner, English dimpled.