Yes its true, I am. “My name is Phil and I’m a pedantic glassoholic”, there I’ve said it, I’ve come out, now the world can see me for the miserable sod I truly can be, where beer and beer glasses are concerned. (Some of you will not be surprised, I don’t hide it well)
There’s no snobbery in that either, you wouldn’t dream of buying a decent bottle of wine and swilling it from the bottle (unless of course its wrapped in brown paper and you are covered in flies), nor would you grab a bottle of 15-year-old single malt whisky from ‘the special shelf’ and take a slug, leaving your stale saliva dripping down the inside of the bottle..
How many times have you seen the shell suited faithful, wander down the high street swigging from a can of Tennents Super or Special Brew and thought, bloody piss-head? Why does it make it any different because your bottle is an imported super hoppy IPA, or an expensive barrel aged Imperial Stout?
When my good friend Nate, author of Booze, Beats and Bites wrote his “Drinkin’ From The Bottle” post a few days ago, we had a bit of light-hearted banter about it across Twitter and the like. I still think the bottle part is utter bollocks (sorry Nate), but I understand the sentiment was more about just enjoying beer because you want it, and want to drink it without any distractions of mentally pulling it apart, but really, was the glassware cupboard THAT far away?
Don’t get me wrong we’ve all done it when needs must. The inevitable Becks or Stella at a Christmas party, an ice-cold bottle of Bud dripping with condensation whilst enjoying a BBQ, or perhaps a bomber of Punk IPA at a mates because all he has is a chipped tea mug. Then of course, for the infamous “train beer”, sometimes it just has to be done. There will always be exceptions.
You equally may think I too am talking utter bollocks and after all you could well be right, who am I to tell you how to drink YOUR beer, it’s your decision at the end of the day.
What annoys me most though, is the thought that this is all trying to make necking from the bottle a bit “trendy”, the next big thing, for fresher beer bottle is better and all that, it’s just not.
Apart from inevitable the CO2 bloat and accompanying belch-fest, bottles are often dirty unhygienic things on the outside. You have no idea where they have been stored since they left the brewery, stale beer spillage, dust, bacteria, fly shit, rat piss could all lie hidden on that shiny looking bottle in the hidden world of the microbe, how many hands have mauled it too in it’s life in transit. That aside, drinking from the bottle adds nothing apart from the convenience a few seconds saved from grabbing and washing a glass.
Watch the bar person grab your bottle and open it…
Watch as they carefully select usually the matching breweries glassware, wipe and or refresh it…
Watch some more as the beer is poured with precision leaving just the last few centimetres in the bottom of the bottle and the glass is carefully set down with the branding set towards you on one of the two beer mats set down in front of you in readiness.
Finally, watch as the bottle is set down on the other empty mat, the label again turned towards your place at the table or bar, it’s your beer, you chose it and the server wants you to enjoy it to the full and as the brewer intended.
Watch all this and tell me that you are not impressed..
For years we’ve lagged behind here in the UK on that front but things are changing and definitely for the better, best use it or lose it and end up with little choice than to keep on chugging..