Spiegelau has made quite a splash in the world of beer glasses in the past few years. Their style-centric line of craft beer glasses has featured collaborations with great breweries like Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada for their IPA glass, or Left Hand Brewing Company and Rogue Ales for their stout glass. When they set their sights on the perfect saison glass, they knew just who to call: Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, creator of the famed Brooklyn Sorachi Ace saison.
Garrett worked with the Spiegelau team to harness the bold aromatics and wonderfully complex flavors that make saisons such an intriguing style. What emerged is the new Brooklyn Brewery Spiegelau Saison Glass, an eye-catching blend of form and function. The high straight-walled 19-ounce glass allows for plenty of space for aromatics to collect and concentrate in the delicately shaped bulb. Thin yet strong sides and an elegant stem ensure the beer will maintain its proper temperature throughout your time savoring the beer.
Starting in 2016, we will be selling the Brooklyn Brewery Spiegelau Saison Glass in our Online Store and Company Store, and giving it to everyone who attends our Small Batch Tours. Grab yours and prepare for an unbeatable saison experience with some insider reporting from Garrett below.
How did we start working with Spiegelau?
I know the Spiegelau people through their famous parent, Riedel glassware. Spiegelau had done some unique beer glassware over the past several years and we’d spoken several times about working together, so they were natural partners for this project.
Why did we choose saisons as the style to focus on for the glass?
When we started brewing saisons in the 90s, almost no one knew what they were. My write-up on Saison Dupont in The Brewmaster’s Table is probably the largest and most effusive of the book, so people certain know how much I love saisons. We’ve made several over the years. These days, as saison becomes a popular style, our Sorachi Ace seems to be on its way to becoming a sort of modern classic. We thought it was time for it to have a glass that showed the beer off at its best.
What notable features of the glass contribute to the tasting/drinking experience?
Older Belgian saison glasses tend to be made in a “tumbler/jar” shape, perhaps evoking the style’s humble farmhouse origins. But those glasses, handsome as they can be, don’t show off the beer’s great aromatics. Our saison glass has a high straight-walled bowl that allows plenty of headspace room and concentrates both foam and aromatics. It’s also thin, which changes the texture of the beer for the better, but the glass itself is deceptively tough. They use really excellent glass to make it.
What was the hardest part to figure out during the design process?
We actually split two large bottles of Sorachi Ace into 12 glasses and evaluated flavor, aroma, texture, appearance, foam retention, etc in each one. The results were startlingly different for different shapes of glassware. The tricky part was to come up with a beautiful glass that did every thing well. We wanted a glass that made Brooklyn Sorachi Ace taste “most like its best self”. It was a fascinating experience.
What is your favorite part of the glass?
I love that it’s stylish – it looks great on the table. The stem is short, and it’s clearly a beer glass, but it’s clearly a glass for someone who takes beer a bit seriously and wants to really enjoy it. There are many beer glasses out there that look like everything from Mason jars to power tools. Some of them are wonkishly designed to make beer taste good, but are ugly on the table. I’m fine with a pint glass at a picnic, but I think a great beer deserves to be smartly dressed for dinner. Now Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is ready for its close-up.