The pint glass is normally a triumph of function over form, being, too often, an extremely ugly container for a very fine product. However, I recently acquired a couple of what are, in two senses, pretty cool beer glasses: the shape is quite attractive, and the double-walled construction means that the liquid inside is much less likely to be warmed up by your hand as you hold your beer.
I don’t know if the “Steady Temp double-walled beer glass” is sold in the UK – I acquired mine in the Land of Sand, and the only web sites I’ve found selling them are in the US. They’re not cheap, and they appear quite fragile, which suggests no pub or bar is ever likely to buy them, although “customer comments” on the Amazon.com site suggest they are tougher than they look. (They’re also 500ml, rather than an Imperial pint, so British pubs couldn’t legally use them anyway, of course.)
However, they do genuinely perform far better than a standard thin-walled glass in keeping your beer cool, and aesthetically they score a good seven or eight as well, against the minus 15 of the traditional Nonik.
That’s White Shield in the glass, of course, bottle-conditioned Burton-brewed pale ale, which is also available in the Land of Sand, if you know where to look. I’d be very interested to know how it gets out to the Gulf: on container ship via the Suez Canal is my guess, though high charges through the canal and the threat of Somali pirates has meant that quite a few cargo ships now take the traditional route round the Cape of Good Hope – which means that this could be an India Pale Ale making a not totally dissimilar similar journey from Burton upon Trent to the East that the same beer would have been making in the 19th century. Is White Shield also available a little further east of the Gulf, in India? Is it shipped via the Cape? Was Pete Brown’s journey unnecessary?