Forget generic beer mugs. Walk into any trendy bar these days and you're sure to find a mixologist who will fuss over the glassware in which your drink is served. Your pilsner will likely arrive in a pilsner glass, your wheat beer may come in a Bavarian Weizen glass and your whiskey will surely be delivered in a heavy old- fashioned glass. As the craft beer craze continues to rage, consumers are become more discerning overall about their glassware, says Donna Nardella, director of corporate and hospitality sales for Orrefors Kosta Boda.
"People really do appreciate having a specific glass for their beer," Nardella says. "It starts a conversation at the table when the person can talk about their beer choice and show off their really nice glass."
Responding to the trend, Offefors has designed a Beer Collection featuring each craft beer brew glass: IPA, taster, lager and pilsner. The collection, which has a Scandinavian design, is one of the company's biggest sellers in the incentive market, Nardella says.
Whiskey connoisseurs are equally as picky about their glasses, she says. "Whiskey drinkers spend a lot of money for their drinks, and they're going to prefer a special glass that feels heavy in their hand." One hot seller: Orrefors' Street Series Bar Collection, a barware set that mimics the grid design of New York City's streets. The set has a fan in Kevin Spacey, whose House of Cards character can be seen sipping his whiskey from the collection's double old-fashioned glass.
It's not just glasses that are getting all the attention right now: Unusually-shaped decanters, too, are gaining popularity as corporate gifts and incentives. This Tilt Decanter Set from Nambé, made of full-lead crystal "adds a touch of whimsy" to any room, says Laura Stagliano Perri, Nambé's social media manager. It's so unique that "people want to keep it out on display."