I’m a generous man.
A new feature for the blog today in the form of a first guest post, that honour going to Portrush man Erol Bucukoglu. We recently had a conversation about beer festival glasses and he asked if I was going to write on the issue. Erol (@shakesbeer9) regularly travels to London and has been to many a beer festival where of course the event’s glassware is an integral part of the experience. I suggested if he felt strongly about it, he could write a guest post.
So here it is.
What does the glass you drink from say about you? Well nothing of course, it’s just a glass but what does a glass say about a beer festival? I’ve been to a fair few festivals in my time so the glass cupboard is full of commemorative glassware from fun times past.
The oldest one I have is only eight years, from the Winslow Festival of 2010 (I know because the glass says so). It’s a pint glass with a line to mark ‘half pint’. Seems obvious, a pint glass to drink pints. Being a CAMRA event, it was all cask ale, at room temperature, flat and with an ABV of 3-5%. And nearly all men there so hey, men drink pints, right?
As beer has evolved, so has the glassware. But why? Is it because the beer is better and more expensive? Is it because the female gender seems to have discovered beer and they like nice glassware? Maybe it’s the rising ABV?
Goblet, tumbler, tulip, thistle, snifter, stein or tankard – there’s a lot to get your head around. Beavertown’s Extravaganza chose to limit drinks to 100ml so the glass reflected that idea. With 100s of beers to get through of a weekend, that is exactly what you needed as a punter – no point in having a pint glass there.
Craft Beer Rising in London went with a Spiegelau-style IPA glass, funky looking and again 330ml with a 150ml line.
White Hag’s Hagstravaganza event in Sligo chose a 330ml goblet with a line for 150ml options, again perfect for those wanting to try everything.
ABV Fest in Belfast chose to go with a 330ml tumbler, a style from which you would normally drink water. Volume was good but, a tumbler? Really?
The funkiest looking of all glasses though is the Teku. I’m not sure why but it just makes a sour beer taste better. Is it too funky for a festival though?
In Portrush, we’ve just concluded the fantastic Portrush Beer and Food Festival with a packed town hall to taste and enjoy over fifty beers from across Ireland north and south. Oh but the glass? It’s back to pints. A Stella-style stemmed chalice pint glass filled with 10% double IPA leads to a shortened night and in some cases may put people off craft beer.
The smaller glass has saved me from myself a number of times and it should be the only option for a beer festival. The point of a festival is to try as many different beers as possible so I say bin the pint glass. Quality over quantity, variety is the spice of life.
Thanks to Erol for those words. If anyone else feels the need to express a beery opinion, feel free to get in touch.