I was recently sent a set of new beer-centric glassware from the folks at Fermented Reality, a "a craft beer lifestyle goods" company. The glasses, called B Cups, come in a sleeved pack of four and retail at $15.00 on their website. This might seem a bit steep for plastic cups compared to the twelve pack of glass vessels you can purchase at IKEA for around a nickel and a handshake, but they are being touted as the world's first plastic IPA cup.
Style-specific glassware for beer has become en vogue as of late, most notably through the German company Spieglau and their collaborative glasses with Dogfish Head (IPA), Bell's (wheat ale), and Left Hand (stout).
When I first opened the package of glasses I was a bit disappointed that they were plastic, and initially discounted them, much like beer snobs of yesteryear who pooh-poohed craft beer that came in a can. Those apprehensions quickly dissipated, much quicker than the voluminous head the cup retained throughout my drink. Every beer I've tested the B Cups with pours a large, fluffy crop of foam, perhaps due to the extra agitation caused by beer flowing over the multiple ridges at the base of the glass.
The ridges also double as nice ergonomic grips, and since they only take up a very small volume of the glass are good for keeping warming hands away from the liquid. They're also much less dainty than a tulip or wine glass for those who prefer a heartier piece of hardware.
The one flaw that I found is that they are not dishwasher safe. This can be an extra pain if you have to use a hand sponge to get to the bottom of the narrow glass. This is a bit nit-picky, but I see these glasses as being most useful for guests at an informal party where you want to use glasses that are nicer than a red Solo cup, but also durable, and hand-washing dishes is usually the last thing on my mind after a large get-together. That being said, I usually rinse them out with some warm, soapy water and call it a day,
As a beer geek I do hate it when I pay for a high priced beer, only to have it served in an over-frosty pint glass, so I definitely appreciate glassware that is aimed at enhancing aromatics and flavor. For the most part though, as long as a glass is large enough and narrows at the top in order to capture the aromatics, and is designed for either warming or keeping a glass cool, glassware is mostly about aesthetics. B Cups definitely accomplish both of these goals, with a design aimed at highlighting beer's characteristics, while also offering a unique look without being overly stylistic or childish as some plasticware (I'm talking to you cactus-shaped margarita cups) tends to be.
Search #ProperPlasticware and #BCups for additional reviews.