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Monday, November 24, 2008

Shaker Pints Everywhere

One of the things I've been keeping my eyes on is the pervasive use of shaker pints. So far, I'm three for three. I'm not measuring them, so I don't know how many ounces they contain--but recall, that's the problem. You just can't tell.

Incidentally, although it's a little crude and non-informative, is live. It's really a placeholder for what will be a fuller site, and I'm calling this the "soft launch" phase. But have a look if you wish.

Beer notes from the road
This afternoon, en route to the other Portland (Sally, born there, accepts "Original Portland" but rejects "Fake Portland" and "Beta Portland"), we stopped off at the Westford Grille in Westford, MA. Lots of non-micros and then Guinness and a pale ale from local Berkshire Brewing. My sense is that it's the flagship, and it was pretty sub-par. A good pale ought to be sharp, crisp, and bright. Berkshire's by contrast was murky--flavors were muddled and there was a suspicious haze that made me think the pond-water quality wasn't just fun house character.

Headed to Allagash tomorrow, where I should be able to do an interview with someone from the brewery. Central focus: the Allagash spontaneous fermentation project. More when it's available.


  1. Allagash should be awesome! They were one of the breweries that first got me interested in craft beer while I was at college in New Hampshire.

  2. As a cocktail geek and beer enthusiast, one thing I've wondered about is the use of tempered 16 ounce glasses to serve beer.

    When I was growing up in Wisconsin in the 70s and when I was first at college in the 1980s, I don't remember seeing beer served in 16 oz pint glasses.

    It was always those tapered 12 oz glasses for American beer and the larger imperial pint glasses for guiness. Or when you were at a German bar, they'd serve half liters and liters.

    Somehow, later in college, or when I was working after college 16 oz tempered pint glasses seemed to appear with beer in them.

    Am I imagining this history?

  3. Sounds about right... I think American bars like those shaker glasses because they seem to not break easily. Which I believe beer geeks have always struggled with that. It's nice to see a lot of bars here in Portland having more diverse and authentic glassware.

  4. Just looking at this...if you got a murky-tasting or murky-looking Berkshire Steel Rail Extra Pale, I'd definitely blame the bar. That's one of the sharpest, crispest light pale ales I know, and Berkshire's never had any problems with brightness...when it leaves the brewery, at least.

    Stay on course with the Honest Pint. Though I'd like to see bars serving honest half-pints, too.