A pint of beer is a potent image. Synonymous with life-enriching joy, merriment amongst friends, and perfectly chilled refreshment after a hard day’s work, the iconography of an amber pint being illuminated by the sun or the warm glow of a barlight is worshipped by an incalculable number of beer drinkers. In the UK alone, we down tens-of-millions of pints every year, and thousands every minute – with those numbers skyrocketing during major events, such as those involving a ball and national pride being on the line. The imperial pint glass is a grand old tradition – nowhere more so than in Britain where it originated in the mid 1900s – However, with the influx of so much amazing local and imported beer that isn’t necessarily best served in a pint pot, the pint glass’ status as the way to drink a beer is up for debate.
Modern beer lovers are drinking vastly different brews from their predecessors. Despite achieving mainstream recognition, the craft beer industry outside of the USA is still relatively young – and while contemporary beers may draw upon classic styles for inspiration, the end result is often a noticeable departure, and a far boozier journey to the bottom of the glass.
No longer are we restricted to the choice of a lager, bitter or mild. A diverse selection of beers from around the world is readily available, while the UK brewing scene is booming in spectacular fashion. From refreshing, salty goses to heady double IPAs, the choices are seemingly endless, however one fact does remain: many beer drinkers are choosing to scale down their serving size in favour of enjoying a wide variety of brews. Our relationship with beer is changing, and regardless of whether your grandad thinks you’re a pretentious ‘Fancy Dan’ (I entered a far more NSFW word into the online thesaurus before landing on that title) for waxing poetic about the mouthfeel of your wine-barrel aged sour, it’s likely you really won’t care because the brew you’re savouring tastes incredible and different from anything you’ve ever experienced.