Endless Beer: the Spiegelau Refresh Stein
Man, sometimes writing here is hard. I had to test several different varieties of beer for this one. The Spiegelau “Refresh Beer Stein” is touted as an everybeer glass. While many beer enthusiasts believe there is a specific glass for a specific style beer, this glass is calling: “BS. Pour anything in me.” The company that brought us the IPA glass and stout glass continues to design glass for literally any beer. The Refresh Stein has a molded turbine design at the bottom of the glass. This turbine is meant to “recharge” the beer, releasing more aromas and increasing the carbonation. The only thing you have to do, is swirl the glass in order to activate the recharging of your beer. The glass also tapers to “enhance aroma.”
The challenge here was to test the glass with the various fall flavored beers. I tried the glass with a pumpkin porter, pumpkin belgian, various pumpkin ales, a kolsh, an IPA, wheat, stout, and more pumpkin beers. I was testing the glass based on several criteria:
- It’s a Stine – is the design convenient for drinking?
- Does the beer “re-carbonate” when swirled?
- Is the aroma enhanced?
- Is the flavor enhanced?
- Does the glass enhance ANY kind of beer?
Since we’re so close to Halloween, we’ll rate this stein by Halloween Ghosts; 1 ghost being the worst, 5 ghosts being the best. In examining the criteria, there are some things that stand out. First – the glass is a sturdy glass with a convenient handle. While the traditional stein looks pretty damn awesome, it is not the most conventional or convenient way of drinking. I don’t know if it is the tapered glass or the molded turbine, but the aroma is more pronounced in the glass than a typical pint glass. Is it more pronounced than an IPA glass for an IPA or a tulip glass for a stout? No, but we are talking about a glass for any beer, and it still enhances the aroma for the IPAs and stouts that I had.
As for the carbonation – you do see a difference between this glass and a pint glass. Like the Sam Adams laser etched glasses, bubbles continuously rise from the bottom of the glass in the Refresh Stein. Also, when you swirl the glass, the head thickens up, unlike swirling a regular pint glass, tulip glass, or other style glasses. This was true for every style beer tried. Finally, we come to flavor. While aroma enhances the flavor, I would give the Refresh Stein an extra point for flavor. However, it wasn’t a WOW what a difference kind of enhancement. It was more of a “huh, that’s cool” kind of flavor.
Overall – I’d say the glass is definitely an everybeer glass that has some cool features to it. The turbine mold is cool to look at, plus it does keep your beer carbonated and refreshing. The aroma is also enhanced against other glasses. Add these two together, and yes, it does enhance your drinking experience. The glass also looks pretty cool. With fall having arrived, and various attempts at Oktoberfests occurring throughout the nation, this is a cool glass to break out with your fall brews. Plus, it’s a sturdy Stein that just looks fancy. For the boost in aroma and carbonation, I give the Refresh Stein FOUR out of five ghosts! The Refresh Stine comes at a price of $19.90. Check it out!