Double Vision Doppelbock

Yum yum yum yum….

We had the pleasure of enjoying a Grand Teton Brewing Company Double Vision Doppelbock with dinner over the weekend. WOW! So delicious, clean and beautiful.

P1100828It’s been awaiting the right meal and so it happened: we choose to pair it with fresh grilled beef hamburgers and mashed Yukon gold potatoes & sweet yams, with a bit of Parmesan cheese and sour cream. The smoothness of the beer was utterly sublime with the earthiness of the meal.

Keeping in mind that color is not flavor, the glass really brought this beers gorgeousness out in the open for us to admire. Poured into a tulip style glass, it gave us a lovely aromatic experience, we could see the ‘legs’ of the beer slip back into the main body, and it was so much fun to see a rich creamy head that lasted for some time.

Thank you to our friends at Grand Teton Brewing in lovely Victor Idaho. It’s always a fun day to enjoy their beers. And no, they didn’t pay me to write this. I do it freely and happily when I want to crow about high quality, flavorful, well made beer.

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Glassware: Cleanliness Matters

“Why Care About Glassware?” The header on an information brochure I got at the annual NBWA convention trade show last fall asks this question. And it’s a very good one to ask.

Here’s why everyone should care about glassware:

1. Beer is at its best when poured properly in the best glass for that style of beer you enjoy.

2. Shape, size and volume of the glass are a few facets to consider.

3. Presentation is important in the perception and value of a dispensed beer.

4. Clean glassware is critical to the beer giving you the best possible sensory experience. (Thanks to National Chemicals for the flyer)

5. Glassware is very telling of the commitment to continued respect and quality experience for beer of the serving establishment.

Here are a few readworthy posts on beer & glassware:

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ABC’s of Women And Beer: Letter G

G is a favorite letter of mine. When it comes to beer, it’s also the starter letter of one of my favorite things to talk about with Beer: Glassware.

Glassware matters

Glassware for beer is as important as dishes are for food. Would you serve soup on a plate and expect the same experience as if it were served in a bowl? Would you offer a slice of roast beef in a measuring cup? Would these differences matter?

Of course they would. Ultimately, it’s your beverage and food – do as you wish.

If you really want the full benefit of everything the beer and food can offer, then it’s time to get smart about glassware and dishes. Full enjoyment and sensory encounters necessitate the use of glassware that will help you smell, examine, and taste everything beer has to offer.

Glassware is an excellent beer tool to experiment with too. Let me expound:

  1. Get an assortment of glasses of different shapes, volumes, and sizes together. Pour one kind of beer into between 3 and 6 of these glasses. Proceed to smell them all, clearing your nose after each one, to see how aromas are different from glass to glass.
  2. Next taste them from the different glasses. If taste is 90% based in our smelling, then the previous step of this exercise will be noticeable.
  3. After you’ve tasted them, set a timer and let them sit for 5 minutes. Revisit the aromas and flavors when the timer rings and see what a difference glassware makes in the longer term as well as the short-term.
  4. Repeat.

Time for the tapered pint to take a break

Glassware for beer is often the least optimum: the tapered shaker pint. For establishments it’s long been an issue of economy. It’s one of the most inexpensive glasses. And sometimes the lowest quality as well.

I’d challenge the establishments with this query then: If they believe the beer to be high quality, if they want the customer to have an optimum experience, if they want that customer to come back and bring friends over and over, then it’s high time to invest in better glassware. Small budget? Fine – at least start buying one box at a time. Replace as you can.

Brewers buy high quality ingredients. Establishments invest much in atmosphere and fixtures. Glassware needs to be regarded as an equally essential component in respecting and enjoying beer. Do your part if you’re a consumer and ask for it – ne – demand the beer you love is served in an appropriately helpful glass.

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Why Serving Size of Beer Matters to Women

From the Twittersphere posted by @BeerofTomorrow: “I dug your episode [of BeerRadio] w/ Meg Gill, can you talk about why a variety of serving sizes is important for women [and] beer? Thx”

With a YES and a nod to @BeerOfTomorrow, today we’ll publicly respond to that query.* (Glad you liked Meg’s episode of BeerRadio – so did I, she’s terrific! Thanks)

Different styles of beer should optimally be served in different glassware. Shape matters in the sensory experience. In that vein, the liquid volume capacity (size) of the glass will then naturally vary.

Pilsner style beer glass

For instance, if you choose a lovely refreshing Pilsner, then the proper choice is the Pilsner style glass. The design of the glass is specifically geared towards making that beer give you the best possible experience.

What if you choose a barleywine instead? Then a tulip or snifter is best to let that beer perform for you. The angle of the glass itself, how it’s rounded to retain the aromas, the bulbous shape for temperature….it all adds up for maximum enjoyment.

Women like flavor. Size of a beer matters to them, whether they say they want a big glass of beer, a small taste, half pint, or anything else. Because enjoyment of flavor is directly tied to the size of beer serving and what they want out of that particular experience.

It matters and is different to all women since all women have their own idea of what their beer experience should be. This may seem evasive, yet I’d argue that everyone, female and male, wants their beer how they want it.

Their reasons for wanting it how they want it vary.* Here are a few:

  1. Temperature – Will it get too warm before I am done with it? Many want their beer to stay chilled or cool. This is a factor of beer serving size.
  2. Quantity – How much of which beer do they want to drink? What do they have going on immediately after they consume, what else will they be doing, who else will they be seeing? Can they enjoy 12, 16, 20 ounces or more and feel safe in doing so?
  3. Size of glass – How big is the actual vessel the beer is served in? This factor should be considered by all serving establishment for ALL patrons. Smaller hands are not exclusive to women. And being able to fully control and safely grasp the glass you’ve been served should be in mind when determining sizes on the menu; just as the alcohol content needs to be considered (another issue for another time).
  4. Samplers – I can tell you that samplers of beers, flights to some, are always an excellent idea for serving and getting women into beer. And I daresay for men as well. It’s the perfect opportunity to get multiple flavors in front of one person. From the business side, it should also be good margin, which helps your business grow and thrive.

Small glasses are key for the best beer 'sampler' - no more than 4 ounces

To those of you who serve samplers: Keep the sampler sized portions small – it’s called a ‘sampler‘ for a reason. I’m always appalled when I got to breweries and pubs who serve up a sampler of 6 – 10 beers in 6 ounce glasses. That’s irresponsible, wasteful and not a good value at the end of the day.

Conclusion: If you’re not being offered a serving size in the glass shape you want and feel is best, request it until you get it.

Every brewer wants their beers to be enjoyed in moderation, at best temperature when possible and in the best choice of glassware. Women want to enjoy flavors of all kinds, and size of serving factors into the experience in a number of ways. The investment of proper glassware in a variety of sizes will more than pay off in educating everyone on what’s best for the beer.

*Based on qualitative female beer consumer research conducted across the USA by Women Enjoying Beer, 2009 to present/ongoing



KSKQ Beer Radio: Burc McFarlen, Seattle Beer Authority (4/25/12)

Learn about beer with conversations of people from all over the beer community on KSKQ 89.5 each Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm.

BeerRadio for 25 April 2012 welcomes guest Burc McFarlen of the Seattle Beer Authority, a beer store and tavern, Seattle, Washington.

Burc talks about how he got into beer, why beer stores are becoming popular and valuable, and why glassware is important.

Enjoy another fun and edutaining episode of our show featuring this engaged and beer savvy beer community member ~

Download Here: 46.0 MB

This program originally broadcast on KSKQ 89.5 FM in Ashland, Oregon – streamed at

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #19

What do you serve your beer in? This is applicable whether you are exclusively draft beer or open and pour from different containers.

The vessels you use, Facet #19, are important to women. First they should be important to the beer. Then you educate your consumers – the most powerful of them being women.

The bonus here? Women are excellent students. Offering Beer Glassware Class to women only wherein you have a litany of different glasses available to explore and taste from is an outstanding educational investment.

And it can be economical. You can have a full set of class glasses to utilize for this specific purpose. You can ask that each woman bring their favorite beer glass from home. That can be a great icebreaker and stepping off point. Heck, it could even guide the entire class. Going around the classroom with each women, finding out why she brought that glass, suspending judgement, using each for questions, learning and conversation would be fun and very effective.

And please – let’s bust the tapered pint in the you-know-what! It’s a bad glass for most beer. (Sidebar: I’ve always wondered why brewers, who are so intensely passionate about their beer, tolerate sub par glassware…and bad pub food as well…)

Ultimately it’s up to you as the host and instructor to have a full range of glassware to discuss and feature. There are several fine beer glassware makers and much of it is readily available through a variety of channels.

Know that the educated female is interested in knowing what glassware will be best for her beer. It isn’t about ridiculous off-based incorrect stereotyping women: thinking that they only want or like ‘pretty’ glasses. Seriously, don’t insult them that way.

Teach them what glassware means to a quality beer, tell them what to look for and some appropriate matches for glasses + beer styles.

Smart design developed in harmony with the beer experience is what it’s all about. Teach her that and you’ll greatly elevate beer while respecting the intelligent market share of women.

31 Facets of Women & Beer Series starts here

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Three Cheers – In The Right Glass

Here’s an article that’s headed in the right direction.

Makes me cringe when I see ice cold glasses used for ANY beer, whether it’s supposed to be served chilly or not. Beer is not supposed to be served frozen.

When giving any kind of event or education piece, this is a critical light bulb turn on. Here’s my analogy.

Say you have a garden ripened tomato. Do you store it in the fridge? If you do, what happens to the taste and flavors? What happens to the tomato? What then is your experience going to be like?

Beer, like garden tomatoes, needs to be served (preferably when possible – and it’s not being snobby) at its best temperature. We’re not talking about getting candy thermometer out. We’re talking about good uncommon sense. What temperature should it be served at, approximately? Lager? Crisp out of the fridge. Stout – let it warm up just a bit to really be able to enjoy all the flavors.

Do you see pourers of Guinness grabbing a frozen glass? Cold glass, fine. Frozen – the beer doesn’t really appreciate it , me thinks.

Plus who wants a bunch of frozen crystallized froth in their beer glass?

So pick your glassware, pick the right temp of the glassware. Double whammy for double the pleasure and authentic experience.

This isn’t being a snob. It’s knowing what you like and asking for it.

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Glass Matters

Found on the table after the event...

Found on the table after the event...

The different beers served with the recent men’s beer pairing and tasting:

  1. Stout – small straight cylindrical taster
  2. Lager – half pint glass
  3. IPA – half pint glass
  4. Barleywine – flute
  5. Double IPA – wine glass
  6. Cider – flute

Glassware matters. Focus groups have told me time and again that what they drink out of is can be integral part of the experience to them.

  • Size
  • Capacity
  • Style
  • And for those who know sensory science, Design

Beer deserves to have its own and proper glasses for serving. Just like the wine industry has identified glasses that optimize the wine, brandy makers have snifters and so forth.

The glassware we had on hand and used was partially to get them to rethink their drink. Looking at it for color and head, smelling it for aromas, swirling it about for aeration, ideas for presentation.

Rethinking requires a new approach be taken. Different glassware can do that.




Here’s a picture of one beer I find to be a favorite for me. It’s a framboise and delicious in very way.

p1030936No, I don’t drink it only because I’m female and gravitate towards fruity beers (sometimes no, sometimes yes as with any beer).  After all, the issue here at WEB is not gender. It’s opportunity.

I drink it because it’s beautiful, has a luxurious flavor and mouth feel, has a zing of effervescence, and pairs nicely with a great many foods. It’s also very drinkable all by its gorgeous self.

This glass in particular was served to me at a very recent stop, Willimantic Brewing, in Connecticut at David’s place. What a refreshing surprise to get it served in an appropriately well designed glass.

Refreshing because too many places still use the standard (and cheapest) and expected beer vessel around – the tapered pint. At 16 or 20 ounces, it’s not the right glass for some beers. It allows the carbonation to escape too quickly therefore not fully allowing the flavor of the beer to shine and it’s too big a portion for many, women and men. Especially when you want to try a few beers.

If you make beer, be proud of it and do it justice by serving it in a more appropriate glass.

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