For our last night in DC I selected the wonderful Brasserie Beck as our destination. The evening began with a bang as I selected their house beer Antigoon which was served in its own glass. For my wife a Wittekerke also served in the appropriate glassware. My next selection was DC Brau Citizen which came in a glass similar to that of the brewery. For my last I was on the fence but leaning toward the Garre Tripel since it is generally only served at Staminee de Garre in Bruges and I had spied a Garre glass at another table. I ordered the beer and it came in a different glass altogether with nothing in common with the Garre glass. Later another table ordered the Garre and it came in the appropriate glass once again.
Now I can see you rolling your eyes and thinking there is no difference in glasses when serving beer. Ah my friend, sadly you would be mistaken. It is true if you are drinking from a bottle (why would anyone ever do that?) the shape does not matter, but from a glass the way the glass is shaped will release carbonation differently (remember gimme head) and that will change what your nose perceives in the aroma. There was a long ago article in Brewing Techniques which detailed how things change with different glassware. When Sam Adams came out with their own unique glass they took cues from several different glasses in order to hopefully create a glass which would be the best of all worlds to help showcase their beers. In Belgium every different beer has a different glass which can get a little crazy at times.
Anyway, if you are going to bother to serve a beer to some patrons in a signature glass, then be sure to serve it to all in a similar manner. The beer was still tasty and the food was magnificent, but I was denied the full experience of the Garre Tripel which was offered to other patrons when the beer was not served in the proper glassware. Guess I’ll have to return to Bruges and try it again in the proper setting!