Friday, February 5, 2010

Respect the Shaker Pint

The other night my wife and I were sitting on the couch, drinking a beer while talking about everything, and nothing at all. Both of us being beer lovers we each had our respective glass of ale as we talked far too late into the night. As I sat there half listening to my darling wife, the other half of me was appreciating what a great pleasure it was to simply sit, and talk, and enjoy a well crafted beer for beer’s sake. And for my wife’s sake.

While I have my own array of tulip glasses, small snifter’s and several glasses designed to hold Hefeweizen, my glass of choice for the evening was the simple and functional Shaker Pint. I have nearly two dozen of these glasses adorning my wall, each with their respective brewery logo printed boldly on the side.

Over the past few years the craft beer industry has been making a push toward the use of proper glassware for serving a particular style of beer. Through this push it is implied that the standard Shaker Pint glass
go by the wayside, to be shunned by the beer loving community that filled the walls of pubs across the country with those practical glasses we are all too familiar with.

A great industry has developed in the wine market around the proper serving vessel for every style of wine. You can spend less than a minute on the
Riedel website and be presented with an overwhelming amount of glassware that has been deemed appropriate for all variations of vino. Could this be the craft beer industry in 10 years, or 5, and does it need to be?

When I am attending an event where I am unfamiliar with the people that will be there, a common question I will ask is, “are these wine people or beer people”? Even if the event has nothing to do with either beverage, the answer speaks volumes.

While I have beer in my cellar that I would never consider serving out of a Shaker Pint, I have far more beers that have been carefully brewed with intent and focus, for the love of beer and for the beer lover, that I truly enjoy from the conical simplicity of a Shaker Pint. This glass is not boastful or bragging, and does not present an air of superiority. It is an uncomplicated glass for beer people.

Respect beer. Respect the Shaker Pint.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.