Brewing is an art; the painter’s palette is a myriad of malt and hop flavors at the artist’s, er… brewer’s, disposal. Brewers, especially Belgian brewers, tend to have intricate recipes and techniques they use to create unique beers that illustrate (no pun intended) their artistry.
Although there are many different ways to make a great beer, there are certain guidelines to appreciating a brewer’s craft. Belgian breweries pride themselves on the creative flair their beers possess, and many of them commission their own glassware for the beers in their portfolio. Glassware shape is of great importance if you want to enhance the qualities of the beer you’re drinking and experience it as the brewer intended.
For instance, a tulip or snifter-shaped glass will concentrate the aromatic compounds that are released through carbonation. If you have a thick layer of head on top of your beer, it traps and slowly releases these aromas. By selecting a red wine or snifter style glass and providing enough head space, you can also swirl your beer to agitate and intensify the aroma, which can help you identify the subtle characteristics that your beer might contain.
On the other hand, the type of beer you’re drinking may warrant a different type of glass, such as the goblet. Goblets have a refined look and offer the beer drinker more mouth space for larger sips. Many goblets have what is known as a nucleation point, an etched emblem (often the brewery’s logo) at the bottom of the glass that serves as a focal point for the release of carbonation. This helps to create and stabilize the beer’s head, offering the drinker fresh aromas for as long as the beer lasts.
The aromatic characteristics I mentioned are often called “notes,” and a collection of notes make up the “nose” or “bouquet.” If this seems a little confusing or high-brow, it just takes some time to get used to the jargon, and we’ll go into this some more as we show you the delicious beers in our lineup. Describing beer this way can help you decide what kind of beer you’re in the mood for, what food to pair it with, and even what cigar to smoke with it!
I encourage you to check out Global Beer’s glassware selection to find the right glass for your favorite brew. Since taste is directly tied to scent, this can make a world of difference when you’re sitting down to enjoy your favorite Belgian beer.