OPINION: A touch of glass in elevating beer

The right stuff: branded glassware has been designed to increase the enjoyment of that particular beer or range
The right stuff: branded glassware has been designed to increase the enjoyment of that particular beer or range

Related tags St austell Brewing Georgina Young Glassware Cask ale Kegged beer

The hot topic of glassware came up recently on The Morning Advertiser’s Lock In podcast – touching on whether it’s OK or not if a customer gets their beer in an unbranded glass.

Both branded and unbranded glasses have their place – but the circumstances must be right. I visited the Packhorse in South Stoke, near Bath, at the weekend – a wonderful community pub, with rotating beer taps. In a space like this, where the beer is ever changing, I’ve no problem with my beer served in a dimpled glass or a plain tulip pint glass.

But for breweries, branded glassware is an extension of the beer, and the beer is all part of the brand. That decorated glass has gone through months of scrutiny within a brewing team – what shape, size, nucleation, trends, colour, typeface… the list of considerations is a long one for what works best for our beers.

As a brewery, we want to be pouring our beer into a glass where its brand is extended beyond the bar and beer itself. Beer in its own branded glass is a badge to be carried around a pub marking quality, loyalty and adds to the ‘premium’ drinking experience people are after when they come to one of our pubs now – plus it shows off the beer in its best light.

Customers’ demands

That’s why it’s important to have continuity of beer brands in pubs. Yes, it’s an investment – both financially and in a brewery’s beer – but that’s what people are increasingly going to the pub for: an experience and an involvement in the beer.

St Austell Brewery is a proud champion of all its beers, with our core beers (Tribute, Proper Job, Anthem, korev and Mena Dhu) taking centre stage with their own branded glass – and they’re all different from one other.

For our seasonal, Cask Club and guest beers, we also have a standard St Austell Brewery branded glass, which can be used across the range.

Proper Job glassware for Georgina Young opinion 180324

We’ve been brave with our new Proper Job glasses, steering away from ‘the norm’, opting for a shape that’s capturing a more craft-driven audience – the shorter, wider club tumbler.

It’s a dual-purpose glass, so has nucleation in the bottom for our kegged Proper Job, but it’s also great for cask. Our beers are of good quality and consistent, which is key – meaning we have enough head-forming proteins in our cask beer to ensure our head is nice and full across the wider glass top.

Great feedback

We’ve already had a slew of great feedback, particularly from our national sales customers who have been praising the new glass style with its fresh branding.

Our Proper Job rebrand is all about fusing heritage and craft of the beer with relevance for today’s drinkers. Because of its loyal fanbase, we didn’t want to stray too far from its roots, rather secure its future by evolving the brand to invite the next generation of drinkers in. We recognise we need to continue to work hard to bring drinkers into premium ale and cask and felt it was the right time to invest in the brand and elevate it further.

We use the very same tumbler glasses for Anthem – our British pale and latest permanent cask beer, which we introduced to our portfolio in 2022. The role of creating eye-catching and stand-out cask brands at the point of purchase has never been so important.

There will always be a place for the unbranded glass but what sets a drinking experience apart is the whole package – and let’s not forget that the brewer has worked quite hard at choosing a glass that works for their beer, to show it off and welcome drinkers into their world.

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