Glass for Thought – Glassware for IPAs

Unless you’re ordering a Stella Artois or a Barley wine, in most cases you will be receiving your beer in a pint glass, why?

In my eyes there are specific beers that are amazing in a pint glass, such a slightly frozen Widmer Hefeweizen with a giant slice of lemon or a robust Porter, but I would never drink a hugely aromatic IPA out of a heavy thick pint glass. I much prefer my favorite Riedel glass, my pinot noir glass in fact, or if it is unavailable Riedel’s Chardonnay glass works almost as well.

Riedel Glassware

The wide opening  is intended to assist in “nosing” wine but, lucky for me, works exactly the same way with a floral, citrusy IPA. For a “hop head” such as myself, I find that in order to truly pick up the complex hop and citrus notes from the aroma, you must use a glass that you can move the beer in and really get your nose down deep above it. Beware, beer does lose carbonation with too much movement, so give it a quick swirl, nose and enjoy.

Here are some examples of IPAs that I adore and would only drink out of my delicate Riedel glasses:

  • Widmer’s X114 – First release in their Rotator IPA series. This is my go-to beer for right now. You can find it anywhere and it’s reasonably priced. Incredibly refreshing with intense citrus notes.
  • Hopworks IPA – When I have a little more money to spend on wonderful beer this is what I choose. Put a smile on my face when I found it at my local Albertson’s. Sweet peachy, mango aroma with seductive velvet like mouth-feel. A+!!!!!!!
  • Lompoc’s C-NOTE Imperial Pale Ale – AMAZING imperial pale. Has tons of citrus and fresh hop notes.  I can’t decide if it’s better sitting with friends at New Old Lompoc or if it’s better sitting comfortably at my house, while watching my son run around without his pants on. I suppose it’s better at the house, what could be better than local craft beer from a chain super market. Slightly expensive but worth it.
  • Alameda Brewhouse’s Yellow Imperial IPA – Huge herbal and citrus notes on the nose. Tastes very similar to how it smells. Nice balance of bitterness (from the hops) yeasty or breadiness and sweetness. More full-bodied than a crisp IPA like for example X114. I adore of 22 oz of Yellow Wolf but definitely wouldn’t drink more than that; it tends to become too heavy for me.
  • Ninkasi’s Total Domination – Intense fresh hop bitterness on the nose and on the palate. Slightly full-bodied but with a crisp finish. Totally drinkable for hours. Comes in 22oz.s, 22 oz. variety packs and NOW 6 packs. On occasion it can be hard to find and expensive but trust me: buy it if you’re a “hop head.”
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One thought on “Glass for Thought – Glassware for IPAs”

  1. Love it Becky, out of your list my favorite is the Ninkasi. I too am a hop head and enjoy the fresh hop taste so much. I got to try the Pyramid Ouburst IPA it was so good, but sold out too fast. I would live more beer like that one. Do you know of any other fresh hopped that are good? Hugs 🙂

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