Can, Bottle, Glass, or Solo Cup?

16 September 2020 Published in Haas Style Blog

As the theme goes, fall is in the air.  The weird summer is winding down.  Usually I would sit and write about what beer I might be looking to drink as the weather changes - but times are different now, I’ll drink whatever whenever.  So, I got to thinking about the drinking container again, and I know we have blogged about this before - but a new twist has jumped into our laps.

We opened our patio a couple weeks ago, and as we reviewed safety in these times, with the team, we decided, we don’t want glass on the patio.  For two reasons, 1) glass breaks and 2) we don’t want to be bussing tables out there constantly which would increase the amount of contact points.  We want our patrons bussing their own tables, and starting with a new cup.

So, plastic cups, right?!?  Sure, we have all had a cup of swill from a solo cup off a keg, or at a festival, or a concert (oh how we miss concerts).  But, who would choose the plastic cup as a normal daily drinking vessel - not I.

My preference is to drink from a can, or a pint glass.  But, a few questions come up - what vessel is best and does the vessel change the experience, do you mind the plastic cup?

So, I think we have covered the drinking experience and our preference for a pint glass in previous writings, but I don’t think the thought of a plastic cup even came up.

Currently, on our patio we are serving out of a 16 oz plastic cup, disposable and safer for our team.  Here are some of the things that I note when I drink a pint from this vessel, as opposed to my normal choices.

In the plastic cup, I really get a sense for the temperature of the beer, and it does an alright job of continually releasing those CO2 bubbles as I sip, which brings out a continual stream of nice aromas.  It does warm up more quickly than in a pint glass - so drink faster?  

One advantage the cup has over a can, is that aroma.  When you drink from a can, sure CO2 is bringing out great aromas, then it is promptly trapped in the can and never makes its way to your nose.  Such a bummer.

It seems to me that the plastic cup also changes the mouthfeel of a beer a bit, when you pull that rolled edge on to your lips, it is different than a can, and a pint glass for sure.  The rolled edge of the cup sort of messes up how the beer flows.  Sure, I can still get plenty of beer in to my mouth to enjoy, but it changes the experience.

I love the feeling of drinking a pint on our patio, I love that we have people safely visiting our Taproom again, and we get to see their smiling, but masked, faces again.  So, there are dozens of new experiences happening this year, and I would just lump this plastic-cup-drinking into that category.  

Sure, it changes the experience, and perfection in drinking is not achieved, but the enjoyment is still there.  The beer flows, the beer tastes great, and the fall sunshine on the patio creates a perfect beer drinking experience.  So get out there, enjoy a beer outdoors while you can, respect the plastic cup, or any other drinking vessel - just feel lucky you get to enjoy this liquid with those around you!