The First IPA-Specific Beer Glass

The First IPA-Specific Beer Glass

By Olivia Martin
One of the oldest glassmakers of the world, Amberg, Germany-based Spiegelau will be releasing the first IPA-specific beer glass April 2013. A collaboration between Spiegelau, Dogfish Head, and Sierra Nevada, the glass was formulated through extensive taste testing, designs, and re-designs to create a product that captures IPA flavor notes and aromas. According to the company, beer performs better and quite simply tastes better (colder, fizzier, and with more pronounced aromatics) in the proper glassware. Just like with wine, various shapes will complement a brew. As we draw near the weekend and begin to crave a cold one, Dwell sits down with Matt Rutkowski, Vice President of Spiegelau to learn more.

You mention proper glassware as crucial to the taste and flavor of the beer, why is that? What types of glass work better for beer?

The Spiegelau IPA glass (set of two) is available for $24.90 here.

First, the standard pint glass is the single worst glass for enhancing good beer. Rule that one out and then look for a glass that has a shape tapered inward to hold aroma, and is thin to maintain temperature and effervescence longer (all Spiegelau Beer Classic glassware is made this way).

How is "beer glass" constructed differently from other types of glass?

In the case of our new IPA glass… very differently. This new glass was specifically designed to enhance the aroma and flavor profile of American-style IPA beers. No glass for beer has ever been made this way. Up until this point, glasses have only been "brand specific," not variety specific.

How did the tulip-shaped beer glass come about?

This style became popular in Bohemia as a elegant, pilsner glass. The shape migrated across Europe over time where it took up residence and shot to popularity in Belgium. The tulip shape is particularly well suited for capturing complex aromas in beer, while evenly weaving alcohol notes though too. Many Belgian types of ale have very complex aromas and higher alcohol content than most other beer styles.

How long has Spiegelau been working with Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head?

We have been working directly together on this project since July 2011.

The tall pilsner is a good two inches taller than the tulip stem, but features a slender body, set of two available for $24.90 here.

Can you share any information about what makes the IPA glass special?

Our collaboration with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman from Sierra Nevada for sure; having their direct input in the design process makes this glass wholly unique in that regard. The IPA glass is a truly functional, style specific beer glass.

Does this mean we should never drink beer from a can?

Never, except while whitewater rafting or canoeing, these are the only allowable exceptions.


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