Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Could I have a non-frosted mug please?

What is it with restaurants and bars serving beer in frosted mugs? I can almost understand the reasoning if the beverage in question is some broccoli-water flavored macro-brew, especially the ones that need a lime to help kill the taste. Serving the beer extra cold deadens the palate. Perhaps if folks really tasted some of these beers, the restaurants might not sell as many. Or perhaps folks would start insisting on better beer. I want to taste my beer. If the only beers available are ones that need their flavor hidden, I'm not ordering! So often though, even when they are serving something other than Bud-Miller-Coors, the frosted glass is the norm in many restaurants.

Besides masking the flavors, serving beer in a frosted glass causes bits of ice to form in the drink. Along with the water that condensates on the inside of the glass, all this moisture serves only to dilute the beer. Then there's the condensation on the outside of the glass that leaves puddles on the table and also makes the glass slippery and hard to hold. And I certainly don't enjoy having my lips stick to the icy glass rim.

On one occasion recently when I've asked for a non-frosted glass, the waitress came back with the glass and stated "Luckily we had one." Lucky indeed. I used to feel a bit awkward when asking for a non-frosted glass. Now I figure since I'm paying for it, I'll enjoy the beer served at least somewhat properly. Perhaps if more people were less accepting of these iced servings, the restaurants would change. Or at least the servers might ask before pouring.


  1. Great post. You are completely right. Beer will freeze at 28, so colder than that = iceburg.

    Also, we find you get a bit of glass washer residue in the glass if the bartender puts the glass directly from the washer into the freezer.

    Glasses that have been allowed to air dry (10 minutes) then put into a chiller (above 30F, not a freezer) is good. Room temperature glasses are best.

    A glass rinser helps warm up a frozen glass while helping to remove some sanitizer as well, but really they are a band-aid.

    Staff constantly hear from uneducated guests that a frozen glass is best. It's just an education issue. Once the staff and bar owner understand you can get a proper pour with less spillage in a room temperature glass, it's an easier sell.

    draughtprophets dot com

  2. The unfortunate other side to this coin: beer in a hot pint glass fresh out of the dishwasher. This has even happened to me at an otherwise "renowned" beer bar(!)


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