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The “beergonomic” Samuel Adams pint glass has been around for almost three years. We first encountered it at a Samuel Adams dinner at Vidalia last year. The glass has the whiff of being a gimmick, but some people believe its design does have some aroma and flavor-intensifying properties. According to the Boston Beer Company, makers of the Samuel Adams line of beers, the glass has several bells and whistles that are designed to elevate a beer drinker’s experience:

  • an outward turned lip that sends beer to the best part of the tongue to detect sweetness
  • narrowing shape near the top and a beaded rim that enhance hop aromas and keep a nice head
  • thin walls and a rounded shape to maintain the ideal temperature
  • laser etching along the bottom to create bubbles and sustain carbonation

Boston Beer Company founder and brewer Jim Koch personally tested over 150 kinds of glasses before enlisting the help of the sensory experts at Tiax Laboratories, who used a custom flavor profile of Samuel Adams Lager and then analyzed over 20 glass designs to develop the perfect beer glass.

Despite all that effort, skeptics claim the glass has little to no effect on the smell or taste of a beer, and bar owners complain about not being able to easily stack the glasses for compact storage.

Still, everyone knows what the glass is supposed to do, which is why we were amused this weekend when our non-alcoholic brunch beverages (some fabulous spring juice blends) arrived on our table at Tonic in Mt. Pleasant served in Samuel Adams pint glasses…with ice…and a straw, an act that successfully negated most of what the glass was designed to do (never mind that there wasn’t even beer in it).

So we got to wondering where else these painstakingly-engineered glasses are being used and how. Have you seen one? What was in it? Was your drinking experience appropriately enhanced? Do tell.