(Milton, DE) – Dogfish Head handed this statement over late Friday night in response to what at least one person dubbed, “Glassgate.” A Good Beer Blog was the first publication to post a side-by-side showing the Spiegelau IPA glass looking very similar to a discontinued Riedel O Series Red+White glass. Via AGBB, we can actually thank Badger78 for his/her comment on a Time Magazine post which led to this investigation.
Though some may have interpreted from the messaging that the project developed from scratch, the statement below confirms that the Spiegelau IPA glass is derivative of the Riedel O Series Red+White glass. Still, as the statement clarifies, a lot of time and energy went into the project, perfecting angles, centimeters and so on…ultimately molding this into a different glass from the Riedel one, said by the makers to be the ‘standard’ for IPAs.
Have a read.
At the earliest design and tasting workshops, Sam, Mariah, Ken and Brian sampled from dozens and dozens of Spiegelau/Riedel glasses. Traits of various glasses that boosted the hop aromas and flavors of IPAs helped inform the direction of our glass, but the final design came from carefully refining eight original hand-blown glasses. This wasn’t plucked from a shelf.
The Red and White glass did stand out in workshops — but for all the wrong reasons initially. Our whole panel chuckled at the odd-looking base. However, after much testing it became obvious the function of the rolling base outweighed its fashion. The friction and surface area of those ridges aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass. Each member of our panel, voting without knowledge of anyone else’s opinion, favored the base.
In later workshops we learned that the upper bowl of the Red and White glass was not best-suited to IPAs, so several one-off molds were made featuring different bowl geometries and dimensions on the rippled base. We labored over the right bowl diameter and flare angle to best direct and contain aroma for the drinker and finally came to agree on an ideal design. At that point, Spiegelau literally broke the mold. They no longer make any glass with the rippled base other than the IPA glass.
We all agreed that the IPA glass also had to hold a larger volume. At 19 ounces, it not only accommodates a 12-ounce pour at home, but also a 16-ounce bar pour with plenty of head. The bigger volume dictated a thicker base, which also houses laser-etched nucleation. The CO2 rising from Dogfish’s tiny shark and Sierra’s hop boosts the aromas of IPAs and helps sustain head.
We took our 50 collective years in craft beer, heeded the experience of a premier glass manufacturer, and created what we feel is an exceptional glass to enjoy IPA. Cheers to those inspired to give it a try!