Back when glassblower Matthew Cummings was living in Louisville, KY, some pals in his beer share had a brilliant idea: Why not make custom hops glasses? Cummings was intrigued, understanding full well that the vessel you drink from can impact the taste of what you’re drinking. And so he set to work crafting a high-quality piece that would highlight and enhance a beer’s hoppiness. His friends were impressed with the results and the Pretentious Beer Glass Company was born.
Nowadays, Cummings operates out of a large studio in Knoxville, TN, selling gorgeous Venetian-style art glass in a gallery up front and awesomely pretentious beer glasses in the back. His lineup includes a curvaceous malt glass, a versatile ale glass, an aromatic glass designed for Belgiums and high-gravity brews, a dual-compartment glass for Black & Tans, and six types of bourbon glasses.
The barware can be purchased solo (from $35) or in a mix-and-match set ($70-$196), but if you’re in town and have an hour to spare, we recommend ordering a custom-fit hoppy beer glass for $70. Cummings will give you a private tour of his studio and ply you with his home-brewed black IPA (a taste of what’s to come in the brewery he’s opening next door). He then traces your hand print on a glass and uses a lathe to cut satin-finish grips in the exact shape and size of your fingers and knuckles. It’s pretty darn special—and the ultimate travel souvenir for beer geeks.
133 S. Central St., Knoxville, TN; 606-688-0345.