Machine Made vs. Hand Blown Craft Beer Glassware

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by DEdesings57, Sep 14, 2018 at 5:11 AM.

  1. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (426) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
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    Being an Advocate of not only Beer but Beer Glassware I decided to make this "official" post for us BAs to look into the subject matter of Machine Made VS. Hand Blown Craft Beer Glassware and their impact on our drinking experience.

    This post is designed for us to expose and examine the differences between the two while making our own conclusions on which we believe is better for Craft Beer.
     
  2. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,317) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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    Don't know as if I've ever used hand blown glass for beer. In general, I tend to prefer thin-walled glassware over thick.
     
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  3. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,415) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    I had two hand blown DFH glasses back in the day I loved. Excellent to drink from. They both broke while being washed gently. I am sure that isn't a common thing for hand blown, but it seems enough of a risk that I don't think I would seek one out ever again.

    Interested to see the benefits for hand blown that folks post in this thread
     
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  4. rudiecantfail

    rudiecantfail Disciple (380) Aug 9, 2011 Pennsylvania

    If a glass is the same size and shape, I can't see their being any physical difference in the experience between machine made and hand blown. I can see there being a psychological difference, though. I have a host of tulip glasses. I prefer some to others, based mostly on nothing except this one I imagine as more fancy and that one I imagine more utilitarian. I had a Duvel tulip that was my favorite and it broke. I was upset about it and eventually got another. Now I feel like I can really enjoy a good beer again. I have a few other glasses that are nearly identical, but it wasn't the same. The difference is purely psychological, but it's real to me.
     
  5. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (429) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    I enjoy both and use them interchangeably based on style of beer and my particular mood for the evening....but prefer hand blown if I had to choose. Simon Pearce is my personal favorite brand of hand blown glasses— they are heavy and thick but the style and designs are refined and elegant. They are made in NewEngland by artisan glass makers — folks that are getting paid decent wage/benefits and and contributing to the fabric and economics of the local communities where they live. Maybe not exactly the same — but similer to the folks that are working at the local breweries that I love to frequent. They aren’t cheap — and many folks scoff at spending $50 or $75 on a single glass — but I’m spending that much for beer for any given week...and again - - the people making them aren’t in a sweat shop somewhere far far away. Local. Artisan. Refined. Elegant — I like the symbiotic sense I get between my hand blown glass and the beer I drink.
     
  6. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,540) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Simon Pearce glassware is near or at the top of my list as well, both for quality of work and what it brings to the experience. The glassware also evokes a strong sense of history and the importance of glass blowing as it has shaped the way we live today.

    For some years they had a restaurant/workshop/retail shop in SE PA alongside the Brandywine. It was a real treat to take out of town guests there for both lunch alongside the river and for the chance to watch the on-site artisans go about their work. (And naturally as an excuse to do a bit of shopping in their glassware shop.:slight_smile:)
     
  7. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,445) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    I'm curious what hand blown beer glasses people would recommend, or have in mind with this discussion.


    Personally, I've only used machine made glassware. There is a difference between thick and thin walled machine made glasses, with my preference leaning towards the latter. I find myself not using those glasses very often due to their easier breakage. Pros and cons of daily consumption.
     
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  8. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (429) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    https://www.simonpearce.com/shop/glassware/beer-glasses
     
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  9. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (426) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
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  10. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (149) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    The difference is about 20 bucks :joy:
     
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  11. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (449) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    The only real advantage to buying a hand-blown glass that I could see is if I was able to get a glass custom made to my own specifications. I could see springing for one at a craft fair or something to help support a local artisan, but $75 seems like a lot of money to spend for an off-the-shelf design that is no more functional than a glass made by a machine. Good fodder for a wedding registry, but that's about it.
     
  12. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (429) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Whoa. Very cool - I love some of the shapes. Have seen some of those in BA posts - definitely adding to my Xmas wish list. Thx for the link. Cheers.
     
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  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Crusader (778) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I've got to say that this mug is pretty fucking cool:

    [​IMG]

    Not sure if it's $76 ($66 + s&h) cool, though.
     
  14. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,943) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I refuse to form an attachment with anything that can be broken by a three year old.
     
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  15. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Crusader (778) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I've gotten pretty pissed when people have broken glasses that I've stolen . . . err . . . procured . . . from local pubs. I can't imagine my level of angst when they broke something that was $75.
     
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  16. 2ellas

    2ellas Devotee (455) Feb 20, 2014 New Hampshire

    They are all very nice pieces but I can't see dropping that kind of bucks on glassware. I'm more concerned with what's going into the glass at that point. I do think it's hilarious that they named themselves pretentious!
     
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  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Crusader (778) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    At least you know they believe in truth in advertising and can laugh at themselves.
     
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  18. 2ellas

    2ellas Devotee (455) Feb 20, 2014 New Hampshire

    Exactly! Hill Farmstead (NOT the best brewery in the world) could learn a thing or two from them.
     
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  19. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (790) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    I don’t get it...but I don’t get $300 gym shoes either! :grin:
    And I just spent $40 on a mandolin pick so I’m no longer allowed to have an opinion in this kind of stuff.
    Worth is 100% subjective. Those glasses look fucking sweet.
     
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  20. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Crusader (778) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I think this funny, as well. I refuse to pay a lot for my sneakers, but I have no issue dropping $100+ every week when the wife and I go out for dinner and drinks and pay thousands to go on vacation to basically do the same thing in other cities. Priorities.
     
  21. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (837) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Loving something makes it better even if it really isn't better. I am a collector of things far and wide and many of these items give me great pleasure beyond measure..
     
  22. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,205) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    That's your own fault for letting it out of your sight.
     
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  23. 2ellas

    2ellas Devotee (455) Feb 20, 2014 New Hampshire

    Pleasure beyond measure. I like that
     
  24. woodchipper

    woodchipper Savant (953) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut
    Premium

    Like some others here, I can't say that I have ever drank from a hand blown glass. Being an automation engineer I should say I have a bias to the machine made versions, LOL.
    The link shown above to the "pretentious" site is interesting. (Boy they were spot on naming that baby). Their glasses are really cool, but frankly, at those prices I think I could only enjoy them if they were gifted to me. I doubt anyone who gifts me reads this though.
    A few months ago I bought my wife some Sixpoint Pilsener glasses. Wow are they thin. They look cool, but we're both kind of clumsy and they scare the shit out of us.
     
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  25. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,105) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    I have a Bokkereyder hand-blown Zalto, and it's honestly too thin and fragile to use. So.. Sort of a waste of money, but I'm happy to have it.
     
  26. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium

    I've always bought machine-blown glassware without ever really thinking about it. I like the thickness that you generally get from machine-blown, and typically the ones with cool printed designs are machine-blown. That said, I may put this stout glass on my Santa list;

    https://www.simonpearce.com/imperial-stout-glass
     
  27. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,943) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    With respect to the skill of the artisan I really can't justify buying something that has to be pampered.
     
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  28. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,943) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Now that's a two fisted beer drinkers vessel. Comes in coordinating colors as well.
     
  30. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,999) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium

    Machine-made, but durable as hell.
     
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  31. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (426) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Trader

    The one overlooked issue I have with hand blown glassware is that each glass is unique.

    Each and every glass is different from one another and no two glasses are exactly the same. The issue is that some times this can vary pretty drastically from what is being presented to you in the image.

    I found this image online from someone else who owned the same glass I own and and found it to be more then just noticeably different from mine.

    What I found online:
    [​IMG]
    My own pic:
    [​IMG]
    and here is another pic of my friends glass, look at how the top of the glass tilts to the right every so slightly - hard to see though
    [​IMG]

    Im sure thats enough to notice there is a pretty stark difference between those glasses.

    The point I am making is that one should be careful when ordering hand blown glasses. Just because it looks one way in a photo does not mean yours will look the same exact way when you get yours. There will be imperfections unless your lucky.
     
  32. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,075) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I was gifted the split wall glass from pretentious. I had no idea it was that expensive. Mine is very thick. It is a one of a kind drinking vessel in that you can pour two different beers in and they remain unmixed until they flow over at the top. It is very cool to use in that it allows anyone to see how combining or blending two different beers can possibly enhance one or both beers.
     
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  33. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,317) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
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    Like your heart?
     
  34. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,317) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    So, unless I am mistaken, no one on this thread has made an argument that hand is inherently better than machine. Or vice versa. Shrug.

    Sure, folks have proclaimed their love for their particular, personal favorite, but not explained why.

    Again, as long as it's thin-walled, I like it.
     
  35. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (426) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Trader

    You could be the first
     
  36. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,317) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    Not sure what you're "the first" ing about, but unless I've misread something, nobody has said their hand blown piece is actually better, for drinking, than an equivalent machine made piece.

    I've had thin walled factory glasses that were way more enjoyable to drink from than artisinal glass that friends have made for me.

    Shrug.
     
  37. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,075) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Because there is no better. The machine made ones are very nice. The hand blown ones are also very nice albeit more expensive and unique. There is also some variation in the machine made ones with very small inconsistencies but that is irrelevant. As long as the glass is clean the drinker will have the same experience.


    Edit I enjoy the talk about the hand blown glassware. If they didn't cost a nice case of beer a piece I would buy a whole set.
     
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  38. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,317) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Trader

    Word.

    Living in the land of Chihuly, I do appreciate nice glass, as art. Not diminishing the craft or craftsman. I, personally, have never noticed a flavor differential from hand vs industrial, but do notice in styles. Tulips rule!
     
  39. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,393) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I don't know if I could tell the difference, but I don't care either way. I'm currently in love with the snifter (snulip?) glasses I bought from Wegman's the other day.[​IMG]
     
  40. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,540) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    True most have not, just as you have not explained your preference for thin walls.

    Perhaps if you could articulate your own “why,” others would be more inclined to share their “why.”
     
    #40 drtth, Sep 15, 2018 at 9:32 AM
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 9:41 AM
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