For a long time whenever I hosted a beer tasting I would give the audience a standard spiel about beer tasting better out of a glass. I would add that they didn’t have to become a fancy schmancy wine bore about it and have a different glass for each beer, and that they could use a a well-washed vegemite jar if they wish. For me it was primarily the act of getting your nose into the glass that improved the experience of the beer. I didn’t buy into the whole glass thickness/depth and shape of the airspace/wideth of the mouth of the glass thing as contributing anything other than an incremental improvement in tasting.
And then I did a Spiegelau beer glass tasting for the first time.
You can make a lot of claims, but a good beer glass can really enhance your beer drinking experience. Each beer glass in the Spiegelau does highlight different characteristics and can alter your perception of the flavour of the beer.
Even though each of the glasses in the range does let the beer express itself in different ways (and believe me, I can’t believe that I am using the phrase ‘let the beer express itself’ in public) I tend to use the stemmed pilsner glass as my primary drinking vessel, if just because I love the way it feels in the hand. Still, each of the glasses does come into its own with the right beer style and I have seen other similarly cynical beer types come around in the same way that I have.
It’s well worth looking out for the Spiegelau tastings when they come up, in addition to the tasting you receive a set of one of each of the glasses. It’s a great way to put it to the test for yourself.
The quiz below is a bit of a gimmick (not sure that you’d put the ‘prestigious’ certification in your resume), but it’s a bit of fun and does highlight some valuable beer myths. [MK*]
For immediate release: 19th June 2012
Take the Beer Master Challenge and you could be awarded the prestigious Spiegelau Master of Beer certification.
Glassware expert Spiegelau has created the Beer Master Challenge, an online multiple choice quiz, which, as you move through the various questions, reveals detailed facts about getting the most out of your beer drinking experience. It also dispels some widely believed myths about beer and beer drinking.
As we have known for some time and Spiegelau confirms, beer needs different shaped glasses. The best way to enjoy beer, according to Spiegelau, is from a glass specifically designed to enhance each style’s individual characteristics and the website has been designed as an engaging way to promote this idea. Those who score full marks receive a printable certificate and the title of Spiegelau Master of Beer, displayed on the Spiegelau Honour Roll for all to see.
“There are a lot of misconceptions around beer and the best ways to enjoy it,” says Managing Director of Spiegelau Germany, Richard Voit. “The Beer Master Challenge was created as a fun way to bring those misconceptions to light. Everything from how cold your beer should be, what to eat it with, and what it does to your body; there are some strange ideas about beer, built up over time, that are just plain wrong.”
So what’s in a glass, aside from the beer? As demand for flavour and diversity increases, it’s essential that different styles of beer have the right glassware to enhance their appearance, aroma and taste.
“As with wine, different beer styles have different flavour and aroma profiles, so they need different glass shapes to capture them,” says Voit. “A light ale will be best enjoyed in a tulip-shaped glass, whereas a big full-bodied, hop-driven lager beer can be much better appreciated in a classic, pilsner style”.
The differences all come down to science, according to Voit: it’s about the head on your beer, what the glass shape does to deliver aromas, and the effect of the glass shape on how you drink it.
The Right Glass
So what’s in a glass, aside from the beer? As demand for flavour and diversity increases, it’s essential that different styles of beer have the right glassware to enhance their appearance, aroma and taste. The craft beer industry is enjoying a growing cachet and distinction, similar to fine wines. And, like wine, different beers taste better in different glasses. Whether sharing a few beers with friends or on an endless pursuit to find the most exceptional ale, the Spiegelau Beer Classics are the essential vessels to encourage head retention, release aroma and enhance flavour.
More refined and elegant than regular glasses, the Beer Classics consist of four distinct shapes that support the characteristics of specific beer styles – Lager, Tall Pilsner, Wheat Beer and Stemmed Pilsner The shape of each Spiegelau Beer Classics glass is designed to positively impact head development and retention, create a better looking and tasting brew, and allow beer to release its full spectrum of flavours.
- Narrow base that broadens to a wide mouth showcases the colour, clarity and carbonation
- This glass properly presents the typical flavours and aromatics of Pale Lagers, Ales, German ‘Helles’
- The slim shape of this glass pronounces hops aroma and bitterness with refreshing finish
- Use for Bohemian style and German style Pilsner
- The open mouth of the tulip shaped glass allows for an intense release of flavours
- Ideal for Belgian style Ales, Pilsner, powerful Stouts
- Its generous height accommodates the characteristics of this style of beer which typically has high carbonation and thick frothy head
- The wide opening highlights the yeasty, fruity and estery aromas, found in spiced beers and fruit flavoured Lambics
In 2004 the company was purchased by Riedel Glass Works and became a part of the Riedel/Spiegelau/Nachtmann Group. As one of the oldest manufacturers of fine-blown crystal, Spiegelau creates glassware known for its sleek design, strength and durability.
Just as a beer connoisseur might focus on the make-up of the brew, Spiegelau is committed to using only first-rate materials in its glassware. Spiegelau produce extremely high quality Crystal from the brand’s pure mineral source at the Dorfner mine in Spiegelau, Germany. Unlike the typical clunky schooner, the thin walls of the Beer Classics maintain the desired beer temperature for longer, so your brew can taste better from the first pour to last sip.
Despite being distinctively thin and lightweight, Spiegelau glasses are remarkably durable due to the Platinum Glass process, a state of the art production technique. As the glass is transformed from the powder to the liquid stage, it is passed through a platinum tube to eliminate any impurities and remove all imperfections and inconsistencies. Spiegelau glasses have been certified as “extremely dishwasher safe” by an independent laboratory having undergone 1,500 dishwasher cycles without any scratching, markings, loss of brilliance, foggy shadows, change in colour or brilliance or build up of water chemicals and residue.
Today, Spiegelau represents German craftsmanship at its best. Through a combination of state of the art production along with distinctive glass shapes, the Spiegelau Beer Classics have become the new standard for the growing number of serious beer aficionados.
The Beer Classics can be purchased in packs of two, kegs of six, or as the Beer Connoisseur Set, which varieties. They are now available in leading department stores, David Jones and Myer, and can be purchased online at www.spiegelau.com.au.
The Spiegelau Beermaster Challenge can be found at http://beermasterchallenge.com.au/
*Spiegelau don’t advertise on Brews News (though the editor did get to join a tasting for free last week). When a product is good we just gush a little.