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But don’t reach for those frosty Old World mugs with the cute little dimples, like this:
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They are damn adorable, but they’re not the best way to appreciate the nuances of a fine brew. This Details article suggests that some experts would rather drink beer out of—wait for it—wine glasses.
Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, tells Details that, “If I had only one glass in my house, it would be a large white wine glass.” He’s gone so far as to stop waiters at events he’s hosted from pouring his stout into mugs in favor of wine glasses, insisting that they work well “for tasting almost anything, from spirits to beer or sake.”
Of course, there’s a whole world of glassware-for-beer literature out there, breaking down the types of vessels that work best for each. (Example: Try a brandy snifter the next time you quaff an Imperial stout.)
Photo credit: Spiegelau.
But the idea of having one white wine glass for almost any beverage appeals to us in all its simplicity. Minimalism, now! The unifying characteristic of the glassware Oliver recommends is a thin rim; the problem with cute handled mugs is not only that you can’t swirl the brew gently to get a sense of its aroma, but the fat lip causes the beer to slosh down the palate, leaving you unable to appreciate the distinct flavors (whether banana, clove, or orange peel).