The Triangle has some of the best breweries in the Southeast. But what if you want to drink that beer at home? You're going to need proper glassware.
No, not that free taster cup you got at a festival. And not a standard shaker pint. Science says the straight-sided pint glasses you get at middle-tier bars suck. They're good for a bar's branding, but not for a discerning drinker. If you serve savvy guests, they'll think you're a brutish rube at best, and a tacky buffoon at worst.
Here are the four glasses anyone in the Triangle who drinks good beer should have in their cupboard.
Spiegelau IPA glasses
Hop-heavy beers are the most popular beers around. A good many of the craft beer sold come from the IPA family, which includes doubles and sessions and fruit-spiked IPAs.
Germany's Spiegelau, one of the world's elite glassware makers, teamed up with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada to design this glass specifically for the IPA. It has a rounded top with a wide mouth to concentrate the aromas of the hops and allow them to emerge forcefully from the glass but a narrow, ribbed bottom to keep the beer cool. They feel great in your hand and really do seem to make IPAs taste better. BUY THEM HERE
Teku 3.0 glasses for fruited beers, sours and wilds
Even compared to other high-end beer glassware, the Teku is spendy. A set of four will set you back about $70. But if you spent $25 for a 750 milliliter bottle of really nice sour or wild beer, do you really want to savor it from the plastic taster cup you got for free at the last beer festival you went to? No, you want the Teku.
This glass is a lot like a wine glass, but has a squared-off edge that subtly encourages you to open your jaw and allow the beer to flow back to the rear of your tongue, where many beers tend to reveal themselves in ways they don't in the front. They say this glass is good for all beers, but we really notice the difference with fruit beers, sours and wilds. BUY THEM HERE
Libbey 16 ounce can-shaped glasses for lagers and light English ales
You've probably seen these around at a few of the hipper new beer bars. On one hand, they are a little bit of a cheat—every beer in Germany and England has its own glass, and if you're a huge fan of a particular company, you should probably get their branded glassware.
On the other hand, most people don't have the money or space for a full array at home.
So we like these simple, modern pint glasses. The curved ridge on the top is pleasant on the lips and concentrates the aromas. They look cool, they feel nice and they show you're not a total shlub. Sometimes that's what it takes. BUY THEM HERE
Luigi Bormioli Birrateque stout glasses for anything dark and not imperial strength.
We like stout glasses that emphasize the roundness of a good, malty beer without sacrificing the benefits of a shapely curve. This Italian-made glass has a curved top to concentrate aromas but also has a cuppable shape that feels good in the hand. BUY THEM HERE