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Popular Science: Scientists invent beer glasses

Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

According to a report by Popular Science on Tuesday, scientists announced that they have created glasses that make beer taste better. Spiegelau, a glass maker, has created glasses with specific shapes that complement certain types of beer.

According to Spiegelau, a normal pint glass pours the beer into the mouth too quickly, causing the drinker’s anti-drowning instinct to kick in. They will then press the tongue against their teeth, causing the beer to only hit a small portion of taste buds. The drinker will then experience only a small portion of the taste of the beer, often bitter.

Despite revelations that cast doubt upon the traditional tongue map of taste buds, the taste will still only go to a portion of the tongue in such a case. Perhaps causing the flavor to not be experienced by the entire tongue, even if the entire tongue can experience all five taste sensations.

The other issue with traditional pint glasses have to do with temperature. Essentially, the thick walls of the glass trap heat into the beer. Aside from causing the beer to get warm, this also causes it to go flat faster, as warm beer holds carbon dioxide less effectively than cold beer.

So how do the new glass designs combat these issues? Well, the answer is threefold.

According to Popular Science:

1) Fizzier IPAs

Bubbles form at nucleation sites, such as imperfections in glass. The IPA glass has a ribbed base, which boosts surface area and, with it, potential sites, so bubbles can form over the life of the pour. .

2) Enhanced aroma

The curved bowl of the IPA glass directs hops’ aroma — which accounts for up to 75 percent of beer’s taste — into your nostrils. Beer lands on the middle of the tongue, so it hits more taste buds.

3) Frothier stout

When beer pours over the edge of the bowl and into the base, turbulence froths nitrogen into stout’s signature head. With every sip, the angled base re-creates the initial pour, reviving the fizz.

Additionally, Spiegelau says that thinner walls on the glasses they design will also help regulate temperature. The glasses contain almost pure quartz, allowing for much thinner walls. Popular Science tested the glasses and the beer was 2.5 degrees colder after five minutes than with a traditional glass.

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