If you are like me, and I assume you are because craft beer drinkers are often peas in a pod, then your journey for craft beer does not just stop with finding an awesome brew to consume or cellar. It also means that you are a collector of trinkets and beer receptacles such as unique bottle openers and glassware from your conquered breweries. These are awesome and most of the time cheap keepsakes to provide you with memories of that time you went to Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa and got your goblet, or the mason jar from Lagunitas in Petaluma. One can never have too many of these little windows into your past, and beer drinkers love a good story about good beer. For instance…

A trip to see the family turns into a mission to find and infiltrate one of the best little brew pubs in the country, Russian River Brewing Company, home of Pliny the Elder. Hour and a half drive, pffft, I would’ve ran there if I had to. Load up the car with a couple of other craft beer enthusiasts and hit the road with a Disney-like elation. We arrive at the birthplace of beer Nirvana and order the entire menu in one flight (that’s allowed!). This is a selection that bounces on every inch of your palate leaving you content to retire your mouth for the evening, but not before we wolf down some Pliny Bites and one of the best calzones I’ve ever had. Overall the experience was as complete as you could ever hope for in a pilgrimage such as this, but the icing on the cake is when my cousin surprises us with our very own RR goblets to take home. It’s a simple thing, but to this glasshole it was a perfect gesture, and a great memory.

If you’re ever in the Portland, Oregon area, which lets face it, if you’re a true craft geek it is a must in your very near lifetime, then a bucket list establishment is the Deschutes brew pub in the Brewers District (yep, there’s a Brewers District). As soon as you walk in the glass doors your senses are a flutter with merchandise as high as the ceiling goes. So, let’s order a beer from their, no other way to say it, beautiful bar set up as we wait for a table and choose our souvenir. Due to baggage constraints I was forced to forgo the token glassware and opt for the space saving bottle opener. Before any judging takes place let me just say that I was bringing back almost $300 worth of beer which included eight of my favorite beer, 120 Minute IPA. I’ll get the glass next time. The rest of the pub was as beautiful as the bar and the atmosphere was warm like a holiday fire. The food was just as special as the amazing beers (first time having Not the Stoic…on tap…in my mouth…happy place…) with them highlighting local farmers and ingredients. This experience all comes rushing back in with every glance at my Deschutes bottle opener, and there is no price for that kind of smile. Still wish I would’ve gotten a glass…

Perhaps my most entertaining memory of glass acquisition was the time I got my Oktoberfest stein from Gordon Biersch in Honolulu. After enjoying their FestBier with our lunch I decided to fill my growler with it. I asked our waiter if they were selling the steins that they had and he said that they were. He paused, looked at me for a second and said, “Honestly, if you were to put that one (the one I had been drinking out of) in your growler bag I would pretend not to notice…” I asked him if he was sure and he replied, “The way I see it, you’re buying a growler so you deserve a free glass. We break so many of those everyday its better that you have it than we break it later.” Looking him in the eye I grasped my stein, finished the beer, waited for him to walk away and slipped it into my growler bag. I was morally conflicted for a second, but decided to resolute that at a later time. Come to think of it, all these years later, I never gave it a second thought. Its classic Oktoberfest styling makes for good, fun drinking. And with a good story of how I came about it its a complete craft experience. 
I have an arsenal of beer glasses that I cycle through on my daily pursuit of the ultimate craft beer experience, and no journey can be had without proper glassware and fond memories. Think back to when you got your favorite beer glass. If it was a good story them I’d love to hear it. After all, us glassholes have to stick together…


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  1. Pingback: Glassholes | The Upright Drunk

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