A couple of years ago, my husband and I began silently fighting over a single pint glass in our cabinet. I’d race to empty the dishwasher so I could claim it; he’d offer to pour drinks so he could do the same. It’s not that we care for chores — we just both wanted the 40 centiliter bodega glass we’d stolen from Mikkeller & Friends in Reykjavík. (Sorry, Mikkeller — but we did buy a lot of beer that night.)
This, of course, is ridiculous. It’s just a beer glass. But it’s the most perfect glass I’ve ever held. It’s wider and more stout than a normal pint glass, and marked with a big “40cl” on the back, which makes it feel especially foreign. Maybe that’s why I swear everything tastes better from it (that, or the idea of sipping a beverage in Europe is simply more delightful than sipping it in the States).
Denmark-based microbrewery Mikeller operates 25 beer-focused bars, labs, and tasting rooms throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, plus one-off specialty restaurants in Bangkok and the company’s home city, Copenhagen. Most Mikeller locations use the glass, which turns out is the Bodega Maxi Tumblr by glassware company Bormioli Rocco.
“It’s a pretty straight-up simple glass,” Mikkeller founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø says. Some Mikkeller bars, such as the Reykjavík location, have customized versions printed with the Mikkeller logo or other beer brands; others, like the Los Angeles location, use plain ones.
Either way, it’s an ironic choice from a brewery owner who’s known for irreverent art, off-the-beaten-path beer, and quirky brewing methods like spontaneous fermentation. Bjergsø says there aren’t any specific benefits of the glass — no additional nucleation points for the beer or anything else wonky. Rather, he’d just seen them at a brewery in San Francisco years prior and loved their straight-forward appeal. “It sits great in your hand and is not too heavy, which I like.”
And despite their simplicity, I’ve never come across the Bormioli Rocco bodega glasses in the wild beyond Mikkeller bars. As breweries race to release special glassware for every hazy double dry-hopped IPA, the Mikkeller bodega glass is very much what the modern craft beer scene isn’t: simple, unfussy, and effortlessly appealing.
Which is why, when my mother-in-law went to Iceland the next spring, the only thing we asked her to bring back for us was another glass from Mikkeller & Friends — if for no other reason than to save our marriage.
Buy Bormioli Rocco Bodega Maxi Tumbler, $21.99 for set of 12
Update: October 26, 2017, 10:28 a.m.: This post has been updated to remove “pint” from the headline, as the glass technically holds less than one pint of liquid.
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