Through a glass: Straffe Hendrik

I try not to keep hold of many beer glasses. When I moved house last year, boxes of them went to charity, to ebay and to the skip. Cupboard space at the new gaff was at a premium. So the ones that made the move were the happy few that had some technical or emotional significance.

So I thought I'd photograph them, with a beer. Reconnect with why they're more to me than just another vessel. I bought a soft light tent, some spotlamps, dug out the tripod. And you know what?

Photographing glassware is a bastard.

First time I tried, I spent ninety minutes collecting blurry snaps and then spent another three hours drinking a fridge-full of beers. Not exactly dedication to the cause.

This time, it was point, shoot and hope.

Hideous picture, I know. But there's a beauty within.

Straffe Hendrik blonde was my first ever Belgian beer. In Bruges. It was the house beer at the hotel I stayed in, it was happy hour and I struggled with the idea of beer in a funny shaped-and-sized glass. But, three days later, it had become the beer that tuned my palate into a whole new world and the first beer glass I ever bought.

Since that day in 2005, most Belgian beers I've drank at home have been in this glass. Nothing, though, is ever quite the same as that Straffe 6; indeed, the beer in it tonight is Straffe 9. It's a rather sticky tripel, dried cut grass clashes with tired bubblegum. Just the merest smear of warm glue.

I'm hoping the photos will improve - if anyone has hints and tips on glassware pics, please let me know. As for the beer - maybe it's like caching up with your first love only to find she's now heavier-set, stronger in character but slightly bittersweet.

Thanks to beermerchants for the bottle.

1 comment:

  1. Re:photography -- looks like you need much stronger lights overhead (i.e. clip on bedside lamps...) and maybe black card to either side of the glass to create stronger reflections and bring out the shape? Or just use a black background?

    Re:glassware -- we ditched a load when we moved to Cornwall. Heartbreaking but, do you know what? We've hardly missed any of them. Find the Chimay glass is becoming a go-to for us.