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Culture & Religion

Strange but True: Shape of Glass Affects How Fast You Drink

Because drinkers monitor their intake with reference to the halfway line of a glass, drinking speed varies depending on the shape of the glass. 

What’s the Latest Development?

British researchers have determined that the shape of your beer glass affects how quickly you imbibe you draught, which may influence public health campaigns of the future (and how alcohol sellers market their product). In an experiment, 160 college undergraduates were asked to drink beer and lemonade from straight-sided glasses and flutes, which curve outward toward the lip. “A full straight glass of beer was polished off in 11 minutes, on average. A full flute, by contrast, was down the hatch in seven, which was also the amount of time it took to drink a full glass of lemonade, regardless of the type of vessel.”

What’s the Big Idea?

University of Bristol researcher Dr. Angela Atwood, who led the study, hypothesizes that beer drinkers who wish to pace themselves through the evening monitor the amount of beer remaining in their glass, likely by referencing the halfway mark. “A curved-sided glass, though, makes exercising such judgment hard—as she demonstrated by calling her volunteers back a week later and asking them to estimate from pictures how full various glasses were.” The results of the study may provide public health officials and brewers with contrasting conclusions about what type of glass is best to serve up a beer. 

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