By William Brand
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 at 8:52 pm in Uncategorized.
Have you seen or tried the Sam Adams beer glass? When Boston Beer Co. released this unusual glass last year a lot of people snickered. I ignored it.
But after talking with Grant Wood, a longtime brewer at Boston Beer’s test brewery in Boston, I’m intrigued. Grant hosted a three-course beer dinner last week at the Monk’s Kettle, the excellent new Belgian-style pub and cafe in the Mission in San Francisco. (This is a most excellent little pub with an eclectic, wide-ranging beer list. If you haven’t visited, do so soon. Read about the Monk’s Kettle here). Before we got to the beer, he talked about “the glass.”
Wood has been brewing at Boston Beer for 13 years, producing many of the special barrel-aged beers that are ultimately blended to make Utopias. He said they tried about 100 glasses of different shapes over a six month period before they settled on the proper shape for the Sam Adams glass.
He points out that the top of the glass is a tulip shape, much like a traditional Belgian beer glass, which concentrates the aroma for the drinker. The rim of the glass turns outward which creates turbulence as the beer passes over it.
In addition, the bottom of the glass is scored, which creates a nucleation point. The beer sloshing over the depressions etched by a laser releases bubbles of carbonation which rise to the top of the glass, delivering more aroma to the drinker. If you look at the glass from the bottom, you can see a ring of bubbles flowing upward from the scoring, he said.
I looked; it’s true.
Oh yes, the lower half of the glass is narrow, which makes it easy for the beer drinker to hold. Most of the beer is in the tulip-shaped bowl at the top, so your hands won’t warm the beer too much.
“It a glass designed specially for Sam Adams Boston Lager,” Wood said.
You can buy the glasses on the Sam Adams Web site, four glasses/r $30. But a Sam Adams Bay Area rep said the Beverages & More chain will begin selling the glasses soon, most likely for $4.99 each.
The beer dinner, prepared by Monk’s Kettle chef Kevin Kroeger was excellent. The desert was stunning: The menu said it was – Chocolate fondant cake served with a Samuel Adams stout chocolate creme anglaise. Paired with Samuel Adams Cream Stout. It was a moist chocolate cake with a liquid chocolate center. Wish I had another piece right now. Cheers.