Note: the following is a guest post written by Kevin Flynn and the patrons of Bridgid’s Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA. It does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editor and owner of

The patron’s of Bridgid’s restaurant in Philadelphia, PA are composed of people with sophisticated palates and an understanding of finer beers. Discussing the finer points of hops, barley and ingredients that makeup more flavored beers, the patrons wondered if the temperature of the beer influenced the taste. To further the question, they asked if the taste of the beer changed over time due to the handling of the beer as the warmth of the beer drinker’s hand warms the beer thereby altering the taste.

Based on these questions, the patrons started an informal clinical trial comparing glass beer mugs to pewter beer mugs. The purpose of the clinical trial was to determine if a pewter mug, which maintains temperature and insulates the beer from the warmth transferred by the drinker’s hand, provides a better drinking experience than traditional glass beer mugs. Specifically, Bridgid’s compared the taste in a chilled glass mug and a chilled pewter mug at 1, 3, 10, 15 and 20 minutes. The results are as follows:

As indicated by the results, pewter was the favored mug among the total population. The results changed however based on gender. Men, almost consistently preferred the pewter mug and women preferred glass mugs. While no clear determination as to why women preferred glass, it is hypothesized that presentation was a factor. This hypothesis is based on comments made by the women during the trial and further supported by Tom Kehoe, founder and brewmaster of Yards Brewery in Philadelphia, PA.

Noted during the trial was that women commented on the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the amber beer served in a clear glass mug. This assertion was supported by brewmaster Tom’s experience which, as stated, “the presentation often influences the drinker’s perception.”

The result leads us to a single question, can you separate taste from presentation?

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  1. The percentages smack of a small sample size. The wild skew in the 15-minute Men’s results are also evidence of this — what was the sample size?

  2. Haven’t tried pewter, but my favorite vessel for most beer (and all mead and hard or soft cider) is my wooden goblet made by one of the artisans at the Maryland Renaissance Festival using pre-industrial tools and methods. It’s thick enough to have the same insulating effect as pewter, it’s surprisingly easy to clean and it looks really cool.

  3. I got a pewter stien from Germany and that taste is greatt,but will it harm me??? On a different site they said to be were of lead??? Any halo out there.

  4. My guess is 7 men, 3 women and one of the guys left before the 15 min round started. Bryan, from what I’ve read, pewter contained lead in the old days, but now is lead free.

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