Wednesday 6 May 2009

New Look

I get bored with my hair colour, make-up, wardrobe and shoes on a very regular basis - much to my bank manager's horror - and it suddenly occured to me that I was a bit bored with the look of my blog so I've changed it.

If you don't like the new layout however, please do let me know and I'll change it back.

Anyway, whilst I've got the words new look floating about the biggest new look I'd like to see in pubs is better bloody glassware - seriously people how much research needs to be done before you realise that one of the most immediate and effective changes you could make to get women to drink more beer would be to put it in a better receptacle - and breathe!

Sorry, now I've stopped ranting, the point of this post when I started was to provoke some discussion.

You see, much like my shoes, handbag, clothes, hair & make-up I like the beers I'm drinking to look nice, so I like drinking beer from stylish glassware and I was wondering how many of you out there would like to see more stemmed branded glassware in pubs for handpulls as well as bottled ales like the Badger one pictured?

Whilst I completely appreciate that a lot get nicked and they are a pain to collect as they don't stack, surely pubs that take pride in their beer and creating an inclusive atmosphere have staff smart enough not to give them out like candy with the Carling but reserve them for the more discerning drinker?

Also, would you like your local brewery to produce glasses like this and would you be willing to pay a couple of pennies premium on your beer in order to enjoy it from a glass like this?

These are just questions, not solutions, I know how strongly I feel about it (I'd start a ban the Nonik glass campaign if I thought I could get away with it) but how does everyone else feel about it?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts...


Anonymous said...

Change back please! This feels too much like Stench's beer blog - dodgy navigation too.

Melissa Cole said...

Okay, well Dave you've sealed it, that's been changed already! ALthough I have gone for a small update on the old design - a little more room for the writing and a little less room for the shameless publicity shot! : )

Anonymous said...

Much better Melissa, looks good.


P.S. Nothing wrong with shameless publicity!

Laurent Mousson said...

Ban nonics ? Why then ? Down here between them mountains, they look quite exotic... ;o)

Joke aside, I like my beer to be served in an appropriate glass, yet I don't really buy the Belgian "a glass for each beer" marketing thing, which is a bit of a scam if you scratch below the surface a bit. Most of them are cumbersome, if not downright ugly, and they usually aren't really tough enough for bar use. And they often owe their existence not to a genuine concern for taste, but to an established use in beer branding in Belgium.

For tastings, I nowadays use an Italian TeKu stemmed glass, which not only is an excellent tasting glass, looks really good (I find the stem a bit long, but that's personal), and is amazingly tough for such a thin glass.
IMHO the TeKu (fathomed by Teo Musso from Baladin and transalpine beer legend Kuaska aka Lorenzo Dabove)is a possible hint at the way forward : a generic, yet stylish, practical, pretty much all-purpose tasting glass for beer.

Yet the shape in itself is only part of the issue. A good designer can come up with something appealing in terms of print even with a standard conical glass.
But it's a notorious thing that beer marketers all to often lack imagination, or are at least too lazy to think outside the box when it comes to such trivial things as glassware.

John Q. Publican said...

A view from behind the bar: I primarily serve real ales. I have a regular brewery who provide most of my guests through swaps. I keep 10-12 ales on at all times (subject to supply!) of which 3-6 will be guests. I serve on average between one and three hundred different ales a year, including festivals, from anything up to a hundred different breweries.

I also serve an unusual, British-brewed lager instead of Stella and Fosters. Being a Moravian-style lager, its manufacturer does do branded glasses. I lose on average two dozen a month, of which most to theft: precisely because so many people have never heard of it.

I serve as many of my imports in interesting glassware as I can: sometimes correctly branded, often not but of the right type. But to scale that for my main ale business would be spectacularly cost-ineffective; well beyond the penny a pint level.

In other news: this blog rocks, and thank you for writing it.

Fatman said...

If the landlord takes the time and care to serve the beer in the right glass it looks and feels special. However, I hate places where you're likely to get a pint of ale in the wrong glass - it's cheap, it's lazy and it looks it. And it usually reflects the publican's attitude towards his cellar.

Melissa Cole said...

Good stuff, all very interesting and @John Q - thanks very much, very kind

Anonymous said...

I prefer standard pint glasses with nothing on them, as the advertising looks cheap, and sometimes I'm sad enough to stare at my beer sometimes admiring it and telling people who don't give a monkeys how good it looks!

Fullers have taken to the stemmed thing with ESB stemmed glasses and where they do london porter there is a taller stemmed glass. I enjoy swishing my beer around using the stem!!

I also often find myself in non pub environments such as theatre bars etc and that's where I would love to have more interesting bottled beers in decent glasses. Don't know why exactly.

Melissa Cole said...

Hey Anonymous, shame you didn't leave your name, your comment about telling people who don't give a monkey's made me laugh, thanks for the thoughts.

Tandleman said...

I wrote about this subject some time ago here:

I dislike nonics.

Kristy_BitterSweet Partnership said...

Hi – Kristy from BitterSweet here. Your issue with beer glasswear is something we agree with wholeheartedly. This is one of the initiatives we’re working on with BitterSweet - so keep watching...

Sid Boggle said...

Hey Kristy, you seem to pick and choose - any thoughts on the questions I left on the original thread..?

-- Boggle (I might be a woman)

Tancred said...

I love the practice of a different glass for each beer but so many pubs in the UK don't bother.

I feel a good first step would be changing the law that requires draft beer to be sold in Pints/Half pints. Those that want their beer in that size could continue to buy it, but for more boutique beers a 250ml or 300ml serve would be better.

My favourite pub stocks about 100 European beers in the bottle, each served in it's special glass. They have a range of beers on tap, but they have to be served in pints and that often does not work as well.

Melissa Cole said...

I'd like to see more places that sell strong beers do so in thirds so that you can really enjoy the process and not always watch yourself for wobbliness!

Melissa Cole said...

@Sid, your weekends are your own mate!