What's in a name?

We often get the question, “is the Teku the best glass to drink beer from?” My answer is always, “not necessarily.” There are a lot of factors that contribute to glassware design. Some are functional while others are purely aesthetic. But first, let’s talk about the glass itself.

What’s the deal, why did we name our business after it? The Teku design was a collaborative project between two Itilian beer enthusiasts: Teo Musso, owner and Master Brewer of Birra Baladin, and sensory expert Lorenzo Dabove, who operates under the alias Kuaska. Karrie and I discovered the Teku glass while traveling through Europe on our 1-year anniversary/belated honeymoon. All the craft focused beer spots seemed to be serving in it and it was around the time that we were searching for a business name. When we got home we did some research and found that the glass was created with the intention to serve as the industry standard for beer sensory evaluation, much like the ISO glass used by wine sommeliers. Teo and Kuaska wanted to combine form and function to create something that was both elegant and that heighted the beer tasting experience. What they created was a long-stemmed glass that resembles a typical wine glass, but with sharper contours and an outward-flaring lip. I’ll let you be the judge of aesthetics, but I will make a few points about the functional design. The tight taper of the glass captures the volatile flavor aromatics release by the beer and concentrates them to your nose. The sharp outward taper at the top of the glass increases turbidity as the beer flows from the glass to your lips, which forces CO2 (carbonation) out of solution along with more aromatics. There is also an option to have the glass laser etched at the bottom to form a nucleation site where a constant string of bubbles can form to create a similar effect.

It was the spirit of the glass’s design that inspired the name Teku Tavern. We had a shared goal of elevating the beer drinking experience for you, the consumer. Our mission at Teku Tavern is to create the best beer drinking experience possible. So back to the question, “is the Teku the best glass to drink beer from?” Because the Teku is so good at releasing and concentrating aromas, and because the tasting experience is so closely linked to smell, it can heighten the overall experience of certain beers. For others, certain flavors may become overwhelming. I recommend that you decide for yourself what the glass works best for. Experiment. Grab your favorite beer, or maybe a couple different styles of beer. Pour half in a Teku glass and the other have in another style of glassware. (Even better, try several!) Do side by side comparison. What flavors really pop in one glass vs. the other? Is that a good thing?

I’ll go into more detail about glassware design in a future post, but ultimately, it’s your pallet and your beer drinking experience. Drink what you like, drink it in the glass you think presents it best, and have some fun doing it!


No More

When I saw a screenshot of Melvin Brewing’s “Touch Us” page, which heads with “SHOW US ON THE DOLL WHERE MELVIN BREWING TOUCHED YOU,” I was confused: A child molestation joke? What the hell? Then, I read about the admitted sexual assault perpetrated by one of their Wyoming based employees towards a female server in the Menace Brewing Taproom in Bellingham. Finally, I read their eye-roll-inducing apology in response to the (deserved) hurricane of backlash by the community.

The first thing I thought was, “How did I not see it before?” The “Touch Us” page had been there for quite some time. Why is this coming to a head now? Because chauvinism exists in the world and sometimes we don’t even see it. I’ve become so used to it—it is so engrained in my life—that I’ve been socialized to accept it, to brush it off, to chalk it up as just another poor choice by a man.

The second thing I thought was, “I’m done brushing it off.”

Melvin Brewing consciously had “Touch Us” on their website after one of their employees went into an establishment and sexually abused someone. Melvin Brewing consciously kept the “Touch Us” page on their website as the #MeToo campaign caught momentum and people everywhere were opening up about their sexual assault stories. Melvin Brewing consciously kept “Touch us” on their website because its what they stand for. The joke was still funny to them even as people were screaming for help.

Though, apparently, they don’t stand for it anymore.

Previously, on their Facebook page, Melvin posted, “Many of our employees at the breweries and in upper-management are women.” Does this excuse the behavior because you don’t just hire men? When my Aunt’s racist friend insists, “she has a black friend,” it makes me think she’s even more racist.

Listen, I’m not usually one to write someone off. Everyone can mess up, people aren’t perfect and they make mistakes. What really upsets me is unawareness and lack of responsibility. We’ve seen other examples of this behavior happening, very recently, in the craft beer community (demeaning and objectifying labels, innuendos, sexual harassment, etc.) and beyond (Hollywood, politics, schools, churches, and more). Even if you were a misogynistic scumbug, wouldn’t you want to be on your best behavior? Isn’t this the time to re-evaluate, reflect, and ask yourself, “Are we helping?”

But I guess if you already have a binder full of women as employees, you’re good to go.

Melvin’s walking around with their fingers in the ears, humming their own tune, oblivious to the systematic sexism that infiltrates our everyday lives. It’s not their problem. It’s someone else’s.

In this craft beer world—and the world at large—it’s a struggle to be a woman. It’s a struggle to maintain integrity and still try and move onward and upward. It’s a struggle to be undermined and belittled. The cards are stacked against us women.

We need progressive breweries that are willing to reach out a helping hand to women and not feel up them up.

And then joke about it afterwards.

"Chill out, its just locker room talk.”