Delve into wine even a little bit, and you'll quickly discover the fetishistic appreciation of glassware. Crystal companies have made serious bank convincing the world that it needs a different wine glass for every style of wine, a marketing message that I find dubious at best, as it often reeks of pseudoscience.
But the wine world has nothing on the beer world, where it sometimes seems like every beer has a unique glass. I dug into that world a little bit for an article in today’s Chronicle. The subject is far richer than anyone can fit into 800 words, but I had a great time researching the history of beer glasses. (And related subjects: I found an interesting journal article arguing that George Ravenscroft at best funded lead crystal and didn’t develop it himself.)
For those who enjoy systems as much as I do, I found a couple of guides to beer glass shapes while working on this: one at beeradvocate.com and another at johnsgrocery.com, which is also a good retail source for esoteric glassware.