What started as a charitable act by the monks of the Belgian Trappist beer Westmalle has left the brewery in an interesting situation, as they have no idea how many styles of Westmalle glasses exist for their beer.
The story goes that Westmalle launched a call for a special glass with which to serve their beer. This call spread like wildfire, bringing submissions from across the country. But rather than choosing one, the monks just took in all of them.
“The monks were so charmed that everyone wanted to make a glass for them, that they always placed an order,” Manu Pauwels, marketing manager of the Westmalle Abbey brewery, told Radio 2 Antwerp. “And it’s not that they needed all of them. On the contrary, I’ve heard stories that there were tens of thousands of glasses here, simply because the monks had once again placed an order. As a result, a lot of glasses were made and sometimes there are real gems among them.”
However, this means that the brewery has no idea how many glasses are in existence – now they want to find out.
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The differences in glasses vary from small changes in the glasswork, the colour, or the shape, all due to the manual processes required to create them.
“The older glasses were still blown by mouth, and the decorations were cut by hand,” The brewery explained on Instagram. “Or the golden rim on the drinking rim, for example, was applied with a brush and was therefore not always equally wide or thick.”
In an effort to catalogue all the different styles of glass, the brewery is calling on fans to send them photos of their glass collection, which will be used to make an archive.
Photos can be sent to the brewery using the contact information on its website, or through social media.