Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

Here's why your beer glass is shaped that way
By Troy Reimink, BarFly/HopCat Webmaster | October 26, 2017
Glasses

If you’re a relative newcomer to craft beer, you might have wondered why some kinds of beers come in “normal”-looking pint glasses, and others are…different. Snifters. Tulips. Mini snifters. Flutes. Vases. And so forth.

 Our beer menus contain an infographic which type of beer is served in each different glass. But our servers will occasionally get confused looks when a sour or extra-hoppy beer is delivered in a tulip.  We’re not passing judgement on you in any sense by implying that you should drink out of a fancy-looking chalice or goblet. It’s just that not every beer belongs in the same container. 

The knowledgeable people at CraftBeer.com have put together a set of graphics that offer a useful primer in glassware for the craft beer drinker. [Click here to read.]

A few takeaways: 

- The shape of the glass is important for the containment of foam and concentration of the various aromas and flavors that vary by the style of beer.

- Ideally, the only craft beer you should be drinking out of a “regular” pint glass – a.k.a. a Nonic pint – is something dark (a stout or porter) or something bitter and hoppy (pale ale or IPA).

- The tulip is great anything tart, sour, hoppy or fruity – it signals a bold flavor, pretty much.

- If your glass is cold, something is wrong. Beer glasses of any shape should be stored at room temperature. Anything colder will negatively impact the flavor – no matter what the bartender pulling mass-produced beer into a frosted mug tells you.

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Unicorn beers to try at HopCat Kzoo's Wood & Wild Fest
Craig Stage, HopCat Kalamazoo Beer Program Manager | October 19, 2017
Wood & Wild, Barrel-Aged

As we continue the countdown to our Wood & Wild Festival -- taking place Oct. 22 at every HopCat location -- we're checking in with our expert beer managers for suggestions about beers to try at each of our restaurants. Here, HopCat Kalamazoo's Craig Stage suggests a few "unicorns" (beers so epic and legendary they defy comprehension) that will be featured at Wood & Wild - HCKZ:

Greyline Brewing Co. - Shugga Milk:
At under 10% it isn't the world's strongest Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Stout, but sometimes that's in your best interest. Silky vanilla, chocolate, a full body from a dose of oats, and some bourbony vanilla goodness, and you've got a new favorite beer.

Odd Side Ales - Sweet Potato Souffle Rye Ale:
This bad boy won Gold at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. Picture eating a nice, cinnamony pumpkin bisque with a dusting of nutmeg and a nice hint of rye. Top it off with a big ol' dollop of whipped cream. Now make that a beer.

One Well Brewing - Bourbon Barrel Aged Wizard Potion:
One of Kalamazoo's brightest breweries is in the house! Clocking in at 12%, Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Wizard Potion has everything we love about barrel-aged beers; a touch of booze, plenty of chocolate, some vanilla, some coffee…I’m in heaven.

Brewery Vivant - Escoffier:
Originally released in 2012 as a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing, expect everything you love about sour beer - some sharp tartness that tapers and dries away, with plenty of funk, some citrus, and fruit flavor.

Clown Shoes Beer - Bluegrass Billionaire:
Life in liquid form. A monster 12.5% Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Barleywine, Bluegrass Billionaire has dark fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, and a healthy dose of bourbon to cover your mouth like eating a little spoonful of molasses.

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Don't miss these unicorn beers at HopCat MN's Wood & Wild
Jordan Goetz, HopCat Minneapolis Beer Program Manager | October 19, 2017

We're counting down the days, hours and minutes until the Wood & Wild Festival, taking place Oct. 22 at every HopCat location. In anticipation, we're checking in with our beer experts for suggestions about beers to try at each of our restaurants. Here, HopCat Minneapolis' beer program manager, Jordan Goetz, recommends a few "unicorns" (beers so legendary they defy comprehension) that will be featured at the MPLS Wood & Wild event:

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Blueberry Silky - Minneapolis, MN - 8% ABV:
A barrel-aged American stout made from local Blueberries. This is the first time Lakes & Legends has brewed a fruit-infused bourbon barrel-aged stout. A new beginning for some great Minnesota beers.

Surly Brewing Company Frisson - Minneapolis, MN - 7% ABV:
An experimental lager with black currants and champagne; A HopCat exclusive, this will be the first time this beer has ever made its way out of the Surly tap room. Surly’s been known to release out of the ordinary beers in the past, but this one is something else!

B. Nektar Dragons are Real - Ferndale, MI - 14% ABV:
Their original zombie killer has taken an extreme twist by partnering with New Holland Brewing to create a one time batch of Dragon’s Milk Barrel-Aged mead infused with chipotle peppers and cacao nibs. We’re the only ones in all Minnesota to get this beer so come find out if dragons are real!

Lagunitas Brewing Co High-West-Ified - Petaluma, CA - 12% ABV:
When it comes to the craft beer scene, a beer’s perceived value is derived in part from its quality and its exclusiveness. When we talk about Lagunitas’ High West-ified, we’re dealing with a whole lot of both. Not only is it an incredibly smooth and full-favored imperial coffee stout, but it’s no longer being produced. Drink it while you can, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

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