21 Aug Choosing the Right Beer Glass for You
The world of glassware is more complex than many know, particularly when considering specific beverages. Shapes, sizes, weights—all of these factors are instrumental in appreciating your favourite drinks. Although beer sometimes has a rather lacklustre reputation in circles indulging in beverages such as wine and brandy, the world of beer is nonetheless complex. Hundreds of styles exist, creating flavours that wildly differ. Beer glassware reflects this variety, being offered in dozens of interesting, and often bizarre shapes (see this Kwak glass, for instance).
Different Glasses for Different Occasions
Specific beer glasses are used to display the characteristics of different styles of beer, particularly those considered as defining qualities (such as carbonation, head retention, and aroma).
The classic pint glass, with its iconic taper and wide mouth, is the all-star of the beer glassware world. It suits a huge variety of styles, except for stronger, sweeter styles such as those coming from Belgium. It certainly explains why pubs stock them!
How do you know how to differentiate the glassware used to pour a Flanders red ale and an American India Pale Ale? With some research and understanding the fundamentals of beer, it doesn’t take long to become second nature. Although it is not crucial to pair beers with specific drinking glasses, you’re potentially missing out on potentially incredible flavours and aromas by not pouring your beer into the correct vessel.
Opposite Sides of the Beer Spectrum
Beers containing a high amount of carbonation, such as lagers, benefit from glasses that showcase this carbonation and appropriately release volatiles to ensure aroma is released in the best way possible. Pilseners, another high carbonation style, has its very own glass (which of course, other lagers can be poured into). This glass similarly showcases carbonation and ensures aromas are released efficiently.
Darker beer styles, such as stouts and porters, can benefit from several types of glasses. Apart from the iconic pint glass, dimple mugs (another very recognisable glass), goblets and snifter glass (as typically used with brandy) all showcase the uniqueness of heavy beers. The latter is designed to funnel the gorgeous, complex aromas typically associated with stronger ales. The glass is designed to be swirled, which in turn agitates the volatiles in the beers, creating the delicious aromas we love so much. Belgian and similar high alcohol styles similarly benefit from goblets and snifters, which concentrates their fairy floss, malty characteristics.
There are numerous more glass styles to suit beers, so make sure to peruse our beer glass page to find the right glass for you!
The Interesting History of Cutlery
Considering how often cutlery is used, it’s something that is often taken for granted, and we think it deserves a whole lot of appreciation. The exact origins of the cutlery we use today are somewhat of a mystery, so it’s interesting to consider the utensils we use during every meal were created at different points in history by different cultural groups.
As an example, spoons had been used for hundreds of years before being used as part of cutlery collections, carved from a variety of objects (including wood and ivory). Knives derived their origins from hunting, gradually transforming from brutish hunting tools into the slim, elegant utensils we use today.
Developments in recognising manners and etiquette in the 15th and 16th centuries spearheaded social change, causing the aristocracy to begin using utensils during meals. This was the beginning of using cutlery during meals as we know it today. It was with mass production of cutlery in England in the 17th century that allowed this social understanding to spread to the common folk. The industrial age meant that cutlery was truly mass-produced, and so utensils found a place in every home in Britain. Stainless-steel was the next big innovation, supplanting iron and silver as the dominant metals used in cutlery. Eventually, with our cutlery tools perfected, advancements began to be made in terms of aesthetics and alternate materials.
Modern Cutlery Marvels
We at JM Style are pleased at the opportunity to stock these beautiful examples of cutlery. Wooden spoons and chipped blades have been replaced by elegant cutlery that is as functional as it is beautiful. The Sola range of cutlery stocked at JM Style reflects the illustrious origins of cutlery — as five generations of family cutlery production should — and additionally offers some modern twists. Since Sola Switzerland AG started producing cutlery in 1866, the Swiss cutlery creators have developed cutlery for a myriad of different tastes, occasions, and uses.
Traditional design is undeniably important, with the beautiful simplicity of shaped stainless-steel enamouring dinner guests, but it’s also important to recognise that cutlery has the potential to be visually and tactilely interesting. For example, the characteristic sheen of stainless steel has been substituted by Sola with artful matte black with the use of PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating, and sleek handles were replaced with a huge assortment of complex patterns. It makes cutlery that little bit more interesting. Next time you pick up a knife and fork, take just a moment to consider its interesting origins before digging into your wonderful meal.