If you have a hard time keeping a handle on this one, it’s time to call it a night.
The dimpled mug is a classic drinking vessel, but its origins are shrouded in mystery. By the end of the Victorian Era, pub patrons were still drinking out of pewter tankards, which hid the sediment found floating around in the ales and lagers of the time. Soon after, as pubs became better lit and brewing practices became much more reliable in the process of filtering, drinkers started to take notice and appreciate the clarity of their beers. In the 1920s, the first mass produced glass for drinking beer was the ten-sided handled pint mug. Keep in mind, these were mass produced in Europe, since Prohibition was in effect in the US. This mug gained popularity when the Brewer’s Society used its image in their “Beer Is Best” advertising campaign in the ‘30s. It is believed that the dimpled mug arrived roughly around the end of the second World War, popular for its grenade-like appearance and texture. The mugs were popular with pub owners for their strength, and it is believed that the dimple pattern was introduced simply to save on the amount of glass used in making them. The dimpled mug is convex– wider at the mouth than at the base– and accentuated with a thick handle, making them easy to grasp by the handle or by the glass itself due to the dimpling pattern, even when condensation has formed. The thick walls are great for keeping a chill on your beer, and the handle keeps you from warming its contents with the warmth of your hand. Although the mug’s wide mouth is excellent for catching the aroma, some feel that the dimples make it harder to appreciate the beer’s appearance, while others would argue that the facets catch the light and increase the color and clarity of beer. Their decline in pubs is due to cost, and storing them is a hassle considering they aren’t stackable. However, the mugs make an annual comeback around the time Oktoberfest beers are reintroduced. Although outdated, the dimpled beer mug is a classic in the history of our favorite beverage, and is sought out by glassware collectors, especially from the old Ravenhead Glassworks in Lancashire, England. Rest assured, no matter how tipsy you get during Oktoberfest, the handle of the dimpled beer mug will make it easier to grasp your beer, and its thick walled construction will keep you safe when you drop it, or eventually stumble and fall on to it.
Suggested Styles to be Enjoyed in a Dimpled Mug
- American Dark Lager
- Dunkler Bock
- Pale Lager