To Shaker Pint or Not to Shaker Pint
On December 1st the Colorado Brewers Guild, of which Renegade is a member, released a blog authored by Jensen Cummings entitled “DINNER PLATE IS TO EATING SOUP AS SHAKER PINT IS TO DRINKING CRAFT BEER”. http://coloradobeer.org/dinner-plate-is-to-eating-soup-as-shaker-pint-is-to-drinking-craft-beer/
In that blog Jensen calls for the cessation of the use of the shaker pint to serve beer. He proclaimed that once beer hits the glass “that beer is already passed its peak and fizzling fast in that glass vortex of flavor suck!” Strong words and a strong opinion that beer should not be served in a shaker pint.
This is an age old debate that has rolled through the beer community more times than I can count. In fact just recently Max, the head brewer at Renegade, told me that he has no use for the shaker pint. As you know however, if you have ever had a beer at Renegade, we serve many beers in the shaker pint. We brand shaker pints with our logo and sell them.
I don’t hold anything against Jensen or his right to his opinion. In fact, Jensen has partnered with Renegade on his Brewed Food concept. So, I hope he won’t mind me picking on his blog a little bit.
First, as you could likely tell by now, I have no qualm with the shaker pint, let’s just get that out there. Comparing drinking beer out of shaker pint to putting soup on a plate is nonsensical. Soup is placed in a bowl for a utilitarian reason, beer is poured into a shaker pint for a utilitarian reason. Soup isn’t poured onto a plate because it would spill, not because a bowl makes the soup taste better. Brewers don’t use special glassware for every beer because storing all of that glassware would be a nightmare. Shaker pints stack for easy storage and they are easy to get thoroughly clean with standard bar brushes. We all want a clean glass don’t we?
Is it possible to enhance aroma with different types of glassware? Absolutely. I’m not going to be obstinate and say that isn’t true. Is a beer already passed its peak when poured into a shaker pint? Absolutely not. Beer quality holds up just fine in the amount of time it takes you to drink 16 oz….unless you’re really nursing that thing. Anyway here are my two reasons for the continued use of the shaker pint and why we’re all going to be just fine drinking out of it:
It’s Logical: Anybody familiar with the Colorado beer scene knows that there are more styles in bars and restaurants at any given moment than there are fish in the sea. To ask a restaurateur to be ready for all possibilities isn’t reasonable. Space is a premium in a retail establishment. More seats means more butts in those seats spending money. In Denver where rents aren’t cheap and competition is stiff, storage for glassware is a low priority. Now if they were taking dirty plates directly off tables wiping them clean and immediately reserving food on them to avoid storing clean plates I would take issue, but they’re not. They are just using the best tool for the job they have—the shaker pint. It’s not that egregious of a violation against the beer.
People Like It: Renegade is known for making high alcohol beers and as such we serve several of our beers out of a goblet style 10oz glass. Our tap room staff would be rich if they had a nickel for every time they heard “can I get that in a pint glass?”. People are used to drinking from it, they like it and it isn’t hurting anybody. Now of course, there’s the whole “educate the public” argument. But for me, telling somebody they can’t drink out of a shaker pint is a bit like telling them what they should and shouldn’t put on their hotdog. If they like it and they are enjoying it then what does it matter?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Renegade makes a simple beverage that is meant for enjoyment. Gathering in a pub is a time to tune out from the world for bit and all the sad news we get on TV and in newspapers. It’s a time to share a laugh with a friend or celebrate a success with a loved one. The clanking of a sturdy shaker pint and the raucous enjoyment of a pint sets us apart from the world of wine and spirits.
If you don’t believe me, come down to Renegade we’ll share a conversation over a pint and eat soup out of a bowl and everything will be just fine.