03-17 beer glasses

[Image above] There are many types of glasses in which to serve beer—do you have a favorite? Credit: White Labs Yeast & Fermentation, YouTube

In the year since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, there are very few topics on which government officials have achieved bipartisan consensus. It is likely no surprise that one of those topics involves the availability of alcohol.

From Maine to Ohio to Washington, states across the country have issued emergency rules and introduced new legislation to make obtaining alcohol at home easier now that many bars and restaurants are shut down or operating with restricted hours. And based on new research, these initiatives are having a noticeable effect.

“According to a new report from market research firm IWSR, which provides insights on the global alcoholic beverage market, online sales of alcohol in the U.S. are expected to grow by more than 80% this year,” a Forbes article explains. “Meanwhile, across 10 core markets—Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, and the U.S—alcohol e-commerce sales are expected to increase by 42%, to $24 billion, in 2020.”

While many of these sales are driven by people trying to cope with pandemic stress and anxiety, as vaccines become more readily available, the social aspect of alcohol consumption will reemerge as friends and family can once again gather for sporting events and holidays. Today especially is a good day to celebrate the slow return of pre-pandemic socializing—St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth most popular drinking day in the U.S.

As you prepare your “green” beers to celebrate St. Paddy’s, however, it is also a good time to consider the glass in which you’ll serve the drink. There are many types of glasses designed specifically for serving beer by enhancing different aspects of the alcohol, including the color, aroma, and bubbles.

With so many options, how do you decide which glass to use? The videos below offer some insights from both historical and technical perspectives.

What if you are more of a wine person than beer person? Then check out “The Glass of Wine: The Science, Technology, and Art of Glassware for Transporting and Enjoying Wine,” published by ACerS-Wiley. This book interweaves compelling historical, technical, and esthetic narratives in its exploration of glass as the vessel of choice for holding, storing, and consuming wine. Read an excerpt from the first chapter and order your copy here!

Credit: Beer By The Numbers, YouTube
Credit: White Labs Yeast & Fermentation, YouTube

Update 03/17/2021 – The title of this article was changed to reflect that the proper shortening of Patrick is Paddy because the Irish version of the name is Pádraig.