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The Surprisingly Complex World of Beer Glasses

Yes, more than one glass for beer exists (And I’m not talking about different logos) and more and more I’m noticing pubs actually carry them.  And while they do look nice and pretty, they are varied for a reason.  This post will go over that reason and list off some glasses along with which beer styles go with them.

So to put it as basically as possible, the glasses help bring out the best in your beer.  If you want, think of a glass as a suit or dress that just suits you SO WELL and calls attention to all the right parts, showing no flaws.  That is the job of the glass.

To get in to specifics, similar to wine glasses, different types of beer glasses help compliment different styles.  With the right combination of beer and glass, the aroma, taste and steady carbonation of the beer will be greatly complimented.  So tell that to your wine snob friends next time they laugh about how unsophisticated beer is.

Perfect example.  It was a warm summer day and my mother and I were in a pub.  She wanted something light and crisp, so she ordered a Pilsner Urquell, which was served in a Pilsner Flute Glass (see picture above).  She adored the beer’s crisp flavour, biscuity aroma and to top it off, she was refreshed by the end of it. Fast forward a month later, she’s at home and feels like another Pilsner Urquell, so she gets a can from the liquor store.  We don’t have any flute glasses at home, so she picked a random one, an Abbey Goblet (also above) and in her own words “it smelled and tasted like piss“. So once again, the right glass for your beer will REALLY help bring out it’s best qualities and have you strongly consider a second date, er, tasting.

So where can you get these fancy glasses?  Well, there are plenty of ways.  Ebay is a good bet.  So is contacting the breweries individually or kitchen stores and the like.  And yes, there’s the dishonest way (and as it happens, my late grandfathers preferred way)  of just swiping them from a pub.  But that is dishonest and you should at the very least offer to buy the glass from them.

And now, because knowing is half the battle, I’m going to teach you about some of the more common glasses you’ll find in pubs and what should go with them.  For pictures, see the picture/chart above.  Keep in mind that there are many different styles of the different styles of glasses.  A flute glass can be stemmed or not, for instance, and a particular beer needs a specific one of those and so on.

STEMMED ABBEY GOBLET: These babies are usually for holding dark ‘n heavy Belgian Abbey ales.  Suggested beers: Leffe Brune, Westmalle Tripel, La Trappe Tripel, Chimay Red

SNIFTERS: Not just for rich guys with a passion for Brandy and cigars! Beglian ales, Barley wines and Imperial IPAs are great for this glass and really brings out the aroma. Suggested beers: admittedly, Delirium Tremens is the only beer I’ve had with this glass.  But damn, it’s lovely.

FLUTE GLASSES: For Pilsners, Lambics and fruit beers.  And dear lord, they make the brew look refreshing and beautiful.  Suggested beers: Pilsner Urquell, Budvar (Or Czechvar in other places), Fruli

PINT GLASSES: The classics.  We love ’em.  Nothing screams “traditional pub drink” than a nice pint glass.  This usually takes in the mainstream stuff as well as stouts, porters and bitters!  Suggested beers: Fullers London Porter, Hobgoblin Ale, Guinness, Arrogant Bastard

TANKARDS: For when you want to quench your thirst after a bloody battle.  Suggested beers: WHATEVER YOU WANT, YOU’RE A VIKING RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Seriously though, see above in the pint glass bit.  I find those go really well with a nice Pewter Tankard that’s been left in the freezer for a bit.

And that’s all on glasses from me at the moment.  Hope it was enlightening! And now you know what glass to expect for which type of beer!

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Cooking With Beer: Beer Sausages Inna Bun

One of the things I’m going to be doing over the next little while is finding some recipes and coming up with a few of my own that involve beer.  This will involve anything from sauces, batters, cakes…whatever I can find.  Just to see what I can make with the wonderful drink.

The following recipe is kind of a classic that has served me well over time.  I have cooked it at parties, as a thank you dinner for NYC friends who have offered a couch to sleep on, and of course for myself when I want a food that warms me up, sticks to my bones and brings forth what we all know as The Burp Of Satisfaction.

I’ve included some suggestions for specific beers to try out in this recipe, as they have worked out for me.  But really, as long as it is a stout, porter or even a nice dark ale that you enjoy drinking I guarantee it will work out.  The key of this is that it should be a dark beer.  Suggested drink to go along with it would be the beer that you used for the recipe (What, like you’re going to buy ONE bottle? …jeez).

Beer Sausages Inna Bun
Ingredients:
– Sausages (Brats are a good kind, but if you dream of something bigger I suggest you follow that dream. 2-5 is a good number if it fits in your pan)
– Beer (SUGGESTED BRANDS: Leffe Brune, Hobgoblin Ale, Dragon Stout or Black Creek Porter)
– Half an onion (chopped in to rings)
– Buns (Not yours (sicko), but the kind in the bakery section of your local grocery store)
– Olive oil (just about two tablespoons.  If you don’t have olive oil, safflower of grape seed oil will do.)

Instructions:

1. put oil in frying pan, crank that stove up to high. Then add sausages and fry up until browned.

2. Once the sausages are browned, decrease the stove to medium heat, remove the sausages and throw in the onions.

3. Cook those onions in the sausage juices until rubbery and transparent.  You may need to use some extra oil.

4. Put the sausages back in the pan and pour your beer in. Half a bottle is good.  As long as the sausages are covered about half way you’re golden. And look at that, you now have something to drink while you’re cooking!

5. Turn those sausages in your wonderful beer-onion concoction until the beer has reduced into a somewhat thick sauce. Your entire kitchen will start to smell amazing.

6. Remove the sausages and place in the buns.

7. spoon in the beer and onion sauce in to the buns on the sausages.  If you’ve got a lot of the sauce, go freakin’ wild.  More is DEFINITELY better in this case.

8. Eat and enjoy. If you feel like moaning in a way that makes those around you a tad uncomfortable, don’t hesitate.  Let the food take you somewhere magical

Bonus Feature:

Throw a bit of grated cheese on top.  This adds to more flavour and a HELL of a lot more guilt afterwards, but my god, it’s worth it.

Got a recipe?  E-mail me at robin@therobinleblanc.com and tell me about it!

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