The dynamic aromas and flavors of craft beer shine best in proper glassware. A careful pour into the right glass, which differs among beer styles, makes for an ideal drinking experience. We’ve always brewed and loved hop-forward beers, a passion Dogfish Head Brewery shares with us. Together, with the help of world-renowned glass manufacturer Spiegelau, we sought to create an exceptional glass for India Pale Ale.
If you order a Pale Ale, Bigfoot<sup>®</sup> or Kellerweis<sup>®</sup> in our Taproom, you’ll be handed a specific glass for each. Now our IPAs like Torpedo<sup>®</sup> and Ruthless<sup>®</sup> Rye have a new vessel to showcase their wonderful nuances.
It took the better part of a year to arrive at this final design. Ken Grossman, alongside Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Spiegelau owner Georg Riedel, completed IPA tastings with a range of existing Spiegelau bowl shapes; the group assessed beer appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, and finish. A process of elimination—imagine brackets for sports tournaments—found the few glasses with the best features for IPAs: different heights, volumes and diameters. Those features informed new prototypes, more refinements, and ultimately the ideal glass.
Among the key elements of the IPA glass are wave-like ridges that aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass; a slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas; and thin, round walls that help maintain proper temperature longer. Ken and Sam share more details in the video below.
Folks near Chico can visit the brewery Gift Shop to grab a glass, and it’s in our online store. Spiegelau will offer two-glass sets starting in May; any Sierra Nevada or Dogfish Head proceeds from the sets will be donated to further U.S. hop research.