Monday, July 23, 2007

Good communication, product and customer service design

This was from a post from a co-worker, so not mine. I thought this was such great stuff that I wanted to share it:

Today I came home to find an unexpected package sitting on my front porch. It was a small box from Samuel Adams Brewing Company. Inside the box was a note, a small booklet, and 2 glasses designed to maximize the enjoyment of their beer. The glasses were sent to me free of charge from Sam Adams for being a subscriber to Beer Advocate magazine. The glasses were designed by Jim Koch, Brewmaster at Sam Adams, along with several several beer and wine critics. The goal was to design a glass to enhance the flavor of the beer, just like different wine glasses enhance the flavor of different wines. The end result was glass with a unique shape designed to highlight malty beers and bring out the aroma of hops.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any Boston Lager in the house, but I did have some Sam Adams Summer Ale. The glass did seem a bit small, but it held a 12oz bottle perfectly, with the head stopping at the rim. The bottom of the glass has a very thin circle etched into it, which released a slow stream of bubbles. The walls are very thin, similar to those on wine glasses. The beer seemed to swirl into the larger bulge as you drank it, releasing a nice hoppy aroma. The beers head was also retained longer than it does in typical pint glass. The beer did seem to finish smoother using this glass when compared to a bottle.

Does the glass actually help one enjoy the taste of the beer? It depends on who you ask. In countries known for their beer (Belgian, Ireland, Germany, etc), the answer is yes. In the US, most bars don’t take the time to serve the beer as the brewer intended. Beer Advocate has a breakdown of what type of glass should be used for what types of beer at

As a home brewer, and a beer lover, its great to see an American brewery trying to stick out from the crowd. The booklet was designed very well, explaining the features of the glass. The glasses lived up to the hype, and gave me a reason to sit down and enjoy a Sam Adams. Hopefully other brewers will pay close attention to what Sam Adams and other Craft brewers are doing to revive the American beer industry.

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