Taste gets all the attention, but great beer really can delight four of the five senses.
There's a beer's color and clarity, beckoning from the glass. There's aroma, where a deep inhale can hint at the flavor to come or bring wonders of its own. There's flavor, of course, tickling the taste buds. But after the sip, there's also how a beer feels in your mouth, dry or creamy, thin or full, fizzy or flat.
Brewers put a lot of effort into each one of these dimensions of a beer, so if you're really going to appreciate beer, you've got to stop drinking it out of the bottle or can. Without a pour into a glass, you're almost entirely ignoring sight and smell, and shortchanging flavor to boot, because a large portion of taste is derived from smell.
In the spirit of the imminent holiday gift season, I'm here to offer a practical, affordable solution to your loved one's improper glassware problem: The Libbey Craft Brew Sampler set of six glasses. I got two sets of these glasses a few years ago and I love them. For the price — $20 at many online outlets — the set has a good variety of versatile, functional and attractive glasses.
Let's take a look at the different glasses in this set — and two others I wish were in it.
By CHRIS DROSNER, email@example.com, 608-252-6146