Our fearless Food and More leader, John “ stubby fingers” Kessler, started a spirited discussion a few weeks ago when he suggested that drinking water, not to mention good bourbon, out of a jelly jar was a stupid idea.
This week, bloggers and newsers jumped on a story about a glass touted to be so good that it makes craft beer lovers favorite style even more of a sniffing and sipping pleasure.
American craft brewers Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada teamed with the German glassware maker Spiegelau to create a new IPA glass they say will change the way you experience hop goodness.
• Thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer.
• A slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas.
• Wave-like ridges to aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass.
• A wide mouth, allowing drinkers to nose the beer.
• A laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head.
Local Sierra rep Lance Deen brought one by Brick Store Pub on Monday, where publican Dave Blanchard put it to the test with Sierra’s spicy Ruthless Rye IPA and Bell’s rare, honeyed Hopslam double IPA.
Blanchard’s verdict was similar to what’s advertised: “Great shape. Very thin on the rim. Holds head very well with just enough bell to really concentrate the aromas.”
But he also noted that it reminded him a little bit of a bong, and worried that the lovely thin glass might be a too breakable for everyday pub use.
My own experience with Spiegelau glasses turned me from skeptic to believer. In 2011, after some sensory training from a Spiegelau rep, I used the company’s beer glassware for a seminar at Taste of Atlanta.
Compared side-by-side with a generic shaker pint, everyone was amazed by the quality of the ultra-thin glass and the way it revealed the true color, aroma and flavor of the beer, while helping retain the temperature and carbonation.
There are videos online of Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman demonstrating the new IPA glass. And Dogfish Head is selling it online for $9.
Sweetwater Sweet 16
If all this IPA talk has you hankering for a pint you could do far worse than a fresh, local Sweetwater IPA. And on Sunday you can grab one at the brewery, along with a few thousand other beer lovers.
Here’s all the info straight from the source:
Anniversary festivities will take place Sunday, Feb. 17 – exactly 16 years to the day the company opened its doors – from 2 – 6 p.m. at the brewery and will feature jams from the acclaimed Atlanta-based band, Yacht Rock Revue. Tickets are $16 pre-sale at Xorbia.com, and $20 at the door.
Admission includes a commemorative 15-oz pub glass, tours of the brewery and samplings of Sweetwater’s brews including their year-round lineup, specialty casks and access to a secret stash that’s been saved in the cellar especially for this rite of passage. Food trucks from Ormsby’s, Moe’s Original BBQ and Poor Huey’s Hotdogs, along with the Mellow Mushroom Bake Bus, will be on site peddling a slew of tasty treats.
The fun doesn’t stop there. The gang is taking this one old school, breaking out the leg warmers, miniskirts and parachute pants to pair along with the party’s 80s theme. Sweetwater is encouraging guests to come dressed as an 80s music or movie ensemble and will be crowning the most-totally-awesome looking group with a radical party at the brewery for 16 people.
To encourage safe and green transportation, SweetWater is hooking party guests up with a complimentary 30-passenger funkdafied ride from the folks at Fur Bus Atlanta to run shuttle service to and from the MARTA Lindbergh Center stop. Service will run continuously from 1:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Sweetwater Brewing Co., 195 Ottley Dr. NE, Atlanta, www.sweetwaterbrew.com.
By Bob Townsend, Food and More blog