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Canada’s Craft Beer Atlantic Edition: What’s a Nucleated Glass?

This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our Atlantic Canada craft beer guy, Todd Beal. This week Todd isn’t checking out beer, but rather beer glassware.

Nucleated Beer Glasses | Food Bloggers of Canada

The Nucleated Glass is on the right in all the photos so you can see the difference between the two!

So what’s in a beer glass? If you are lucky, beer of course! One question I get a lot is why are there so many different shaped beer glasses. The simple answer is to enhance the experience, whether it’s a glass with a narrowing top to trap aroma or one with a stem so you can hold the glass without warming the beer. There are ample articles available on proper glassware and many brewers and retailers tell you what’s the best glass to enjoy their beer in.

Nucleated Beer Glasses | Food Bloggers of Canada

One trend that’s not new but seems to being asked increasingly is around nucleated beer glasses. What’s a “nucleated glass” and does it glow in the dark, you may ask. Glassware that has a nucleation point — or an etched mark on the inside bottom of the glass — is referred to as nucleated. The nucleation point facilitates the release of the beer’s carbonation, creating a steady stream of bubbles and maintaining a head on the beer. This works when the rough surface on the bottom of the glass comes into contact with the beer, causing the CO2 to dissolve into a gas form. The result is a constant stream of bubbles rising in the beer and head retention; the beer stays visually appealing and, most importantly, there’s an enhanced aroma and taste. The combination of these lets you have an enhanced experience.

Recommended Reading:  Canada's Western Craft Beer: Stout, Stout, Let It All Stout

Nucleated Beer Glasses | Food Bloggers of Canada

There’s one drawback to this glass: if you’re one to baby a beer for a long time or you’re drinking a high ABV beer and are enjoying it slowly, the increased release of CO2 will make your beer go flat a little quicker if it isn’t fully consumed within thirty minutes to an hour.

Nucleated Beer Glasses | Food Bloggers of Canada

More and more breweries are adding nucleation to their branded glasses, in particular ones for IPAs, and include a random pattern to logos to pictures. This is another small way to enhance your enjoyment of the delicious beer now being produced.

Still Thirsty?

Check out all our Canada’s Craft Beer articles.

Todd covers Atlantic Craft Beer
David covers Ontario and Quebec Craft Beer
Bryan covers BC Craft Beer


Todd Beal follows the craft beer scene closely in the Canadian Maritimes and reports on it weekly on his blog, Maritime Beer Report. He is asked to comment frequently on television, newspapers and magazines as a craft beer expert. He can be heard Friday afternoons on News 95.7 commenting on beer. Visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @MaritimeBeerRpt.

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