If your loved one starts demonstrating any beer geek-like symptoms, I highly recommend you set some parameters early on about what constitutes a reasonable amount of real estate within the house to hold their collections. While Alan’s previously highlighted bottle cap collection takes up a reasonable amount of wall and counter space … I can’t say the same for some of his other collections.
Many years ago Alan got quite excited when he got a special Vancouver Island Brewing glass, and it was a very nice glass with a black and white Orca gracing its label. Then it was a Granville Island Brewing glass followed by a Guinness glass, followed by a … I think you get a sense of the problem. Over time the handful of glasses grew and by the time I realized that we had a ‘situation’, Alan had learned enough to actually articulate why each beer needed its particular style of glass to preserve the flavours, aroma, carbonation, head, etc. He would wax on about the history of the beer and the design of the glass. And if I suggested that his ‘Niagara’s Best Blonde’ and his ‘Creemore Springs’ glasses were really very similar in shape and perhaps he could eliminate one, the wounded look in his eye quickly had me realize that these beverage vessels were much more than ordinary glasses. And so the collection continued to grow.
Friends who clearly didn’t understand the impact Alan’s glassware was having on my ability to store other items in the kitchen, naively would give him special glasses, and glass sets until I had no choice but to draw the line. He could have two kitchen shelves but overflow had to move into the living room liquor cabinet. Big mistake on my part for a couple of reasons: 1. Trying to cull just 10 glasses into the other room took him nearly an hour of deliberations! 2. Once out of sight, I had no idea that the collection was in fact multiplying once again.
To be fair, Alan now will occasionally remove duplicates. And some of the unmarked glassware, tasting glassware, and backyard plastic glasses for use around the pool, aren’t actually considered part of his ‘collection’. However the fact remains that to my mind even allowing for a variety of glass shapes to allow for the perfect airing of the gases, 20 glasses should be ample.
I’m sure some readers may think I’m being harsh and that someone who is as passionate about craft beers as Alan is probably needs double that to properly represent all beer styles. Would I be so lucky!
So how many beer glasses does Alan have at the moment? Well today I made him get them out and count them.
Another big mistake! It turns out Alan has 81 beer glasses and watching him arrange and then rearrange them back into the cupboard sorted by style and I’m not sure what other criteria, was painful! To think that I was the fool that actually bought him some to start off and had no idea it would get this out of hand.
So heed this cautionary tale if you are just starting out … discuss storage and display expectations or you might as well just start decorating a separate room in the house right now!
Still I suppose at least beer glasses are useful. Unlike some other beer geek collections.