Dark glasses transformed James Bond from a mere 'dude' into someone far more complex and deep. They worked wonders for Dame Edna too, her gladioli-coloured shades changing her from a mere 'man' into a butterfly collector's dream. The right glasses made superstars of both of them.
Beer is such a subtle, complex creature it deserves the same superstar treatment. Glasses bring theatre to beer and allow each beer's aromas, flavours and colour to show through to maximum effect. Order a beer in Belgium, and it will come in its own glass be it a chalice, a goblet or a flute. What glass you choose is up to you. But make it wild, make it colourful and make it special.
Different glasses should be chosen for a James Bond beer (cool, dark lager), a Marilyn Monroe (lager again, but pale and coiffedup), a Falstaff (full bodied stout) or a Bootilicious (fruity, sassy ale). Drag down those glasses left you by Great Aunt Enid, those chalices bought in a romantic moment in the flea market and put them through their paces.
Glass shape affects the head retention of the beer, with glasses tapering inwards being preferred for foamy beers. This tapering effect also helps the beer's aromas to arrive at your all important nose to best effect, so hoppy beers benefit from such glasses. Some brewers have gone a step further and provide badged glasses with a logo etched into the base which generates a steady stream of attractive bubbles to enhance the appearance of the beer even more. For lighter beers, which need serving cooler, the weight of glass is also vital if the beer is to stay cool in warmer weather. Many purists therefore use heavier glass, which in summer can even be stored in the fridge!
The time has come to bring back theatre into beer.