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If you’re an IPA fan you’ve probably seen this quirky glass in a lot of beer snaps from beer bloggers and enthusiasts. If you don’t own one as your own pride and joy, you need to get in on this action!
Why do beer fans love them so much? In short: they showcase all the qualities of a good beer in stark contrast to a normal pint glass. Like drinking a beer in HD, if you will.
Not just the endeavour of glassmakers, Spiegelau, the IPA glass was designed in partnership with the founders of breweries Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. It was a labour of love: to make a glass that would enhance the IPA-drinking experience to epic heights. Hundreds of possible designs were considered in design and tasting workshops until a final line-up of eight custom-made prototypes were put to a secret vote. The brewers unanimously chose the glass you see here: ‘number 6.’
Of course a glass cannot fundamentally change a beer, but it can enhance the taste in comparison to other glasses. Did you ever notice your favourite IPA had a hint of pineapple to it? Those delicate qualities lovingly crafted by the brewer may be dominated by bitterness in a pint glass, yet suddenly come to life in an IPA glass. There is more balance and dimension to the drink. So how does an IPA glass manage this?
A few features of the IPA glass:
- A fine, laser-cut rim means the rim causes very little intrusion between your drink and your tongue. Thinner glass means more taste-bud impact.
- The bulb shape acts like a chimney to collect and direct the aroma straight to your nose every time you sip.
- The ribs create more surface area: increasing aeration, maintaining the foamy head, and renewing the aroma with every tip and sip.
- Thin glass keeps the beer cooler and delicious for longer.
So you can see that it really hits all the senses when you drink.
We’ve heard it compared to a high quality sound system, providing more detail to the experience: you can have the most beautiful song in the world playing, but if you’ve got bad speakers the song will not sound its best. Similarly, put your IPA in a bad glass and the quality of it will be lost: aromas will escape, delicate flavours will be overwhelmed and the drink will be less than its best.
In addition to taste, the brilliant clarity of glass is as expected from makers Spiegelau, meaning the beer looks better too: the colour of the beer is brighter and the bubbles are crystal clear. Like we said: drinking a beer in HD.
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? We have even witnessed non-beer-fans utter the words, “I don’t normally like beer, but I like that!” when trying a beer in a Spiegelau IPA glass for the first time.
Fundamentally, the IPA glass captures all the details of a beer and prolongs your enjoyment of them. If you’re a beer fan, this glass is definitely worth trying out. Try your own glass comparison test, and see the incredible contrast for yourself! Once you try it you’ll never go back.
You can find the IPA glass here.