Glassware Makes a Huge Difference: Tasting Experience at KaTom

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A few weeks ago, Sophia and I decided to go to the Glass Expose event at KaTom because we wanted to learn more about the topic—plus, I love glassware. What we learned at that event completely shifted my thinking on the topic. I never realized what a difference better glassware can make in regard to taste and temperature of beverages.

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It was dark when we arrived at KaTom so Christmas lights beckoned us inside. What we didn’t know was that within 20 minutes, we would discover that a top grade serving glass is essential to food service. Here is what we learned.

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KaTom is on Inc. Magazine‘s list of the fastest growing companies in the country so any event there is going to be an exciting learning experience. Sophia and I just thought that it would be an interesting event, but it proved to be much more informative that we would have ever guessed.

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The tasting event was hosted by Libbey Glass presenter, Matthew Rutowski, Sr. V.P. and Brand Director of Spiegelau, USA.

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I had never seen such a large set-up in on the KaTom showroom floor. Each place had  glassware set up and ready for attendees. At this point, Sophia and I knew that the presentation was going to be rather special.

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Multi-media presentation was in place to begin the event.

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The gist of the presentation asserts that it is not just the design of the glass that improves the tasting experience, but the materials that make the glass as well.

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The Spiegelau Company is located in Germany. The factory has a long tradition of manufacturing glass products since the 16th century.   http://www.spiegelau.com/info/

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The presentation showed how they mine the special glass material, which makes it lighter and better suited to specific brews. It also showed how the company has collaborated with some of America’s master brewers to design the best glass for their brews.

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I would have never really believed there was difference—until they led us through an experiment and we decided for ourselves. It was amazing how a regular pint glass could not compare to the Spiegelau glass in keeping the beverage cold and maintaining the taste. After only a few minutes, we tried it again and the IPA in the pint glass was warm and tasteless. The Spiegelau glass was still very cool and flavorful. It was a completely different experience.

There are specific glasses for specific brews.

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At the end of the presentation, Mr. Rutowski always asks attendees to raise a glass if they agreed that the Spiegelau glasses gave a better experience and enjoyment to the tastings. Everyone overwhelmingly agreed.

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Amanda and Adam just opened Barley Waters in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. They came to the presentation to learn more and to buy glasses for their new business. If you visit Johnson City, their place is next to Freiberg’s restaurant. (Oddly enough, I ate lunch there with family last May.) Barley Waters has been open over a month. It has 32 taps and over 206 beers in all. Their customers will certainly benefit from Spiegelau glasses they bought that evening. Adam attended the Brewing Science program at South College and worked for a few years at Blackberry Farm before starting Barley Waters.

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These attendees were from Knoxville. The gentleman on the left has a Food and Beer blog. The gentleman on the right manages Suttrees, an establishment on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. They overwhelmingly agreed that the presentation changed their minds on the difference that glassware can make in tasting, plus the advantage over a regular pint glass. IMG_4104

The Glass Expose and Tasting event at KaTom seemed like a fun event; however, it ended up shifting my thinking about how important glassware is to dining and how it can enhance one’s experience in a significant way. I will never ask for a regular pint glass again.

Now, we are hoping Spiegelau will return some day for a presentation on whiskey or wine glasses. There is more to know…

You can learn all kinds of things when you are out and about in Sevierville.

 

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