The Yard-Long Glass
The Yard Glass or Long Glass, so called because it is about one yard (3 feet) long – is of English origin. Long and slender, it has a trumpet-shaped opening and a bulbous bottom that is supported in a wooden stand. Oh, and it also comes in a half yard size. Depending on the maker of the glass, it holds about one to two liters of liquid. I prefer beer, but take your pick, please. I suppose that Margaritas could be drunk from them, too, but I’m not sure if our Parrot Head friends would approve. 😉 Besides, we’re talking great beer here.
The Yard Glass is rumored to have been used by stagecoach drivers to grab and hold their brew – on the run – so to speak. Actually, it seems unlikely that coach drivers would be drinking from a yard glass. Can you imagine a driver trying to hold – and drink from – a 3’ tall glass of beer, and at the same time, hold the reins and drive the coach, too?
“Sorry Madame, for the rough ride.
I was tippin’ me yard glass up real high – didn’t see the drop-off.”
Such rumors are certainly quaint, and they do have a modern day parallel:
“Bus Drivers Eat Free”
So, maybe it was, “Stagecoach Drivers Drink Free”. That might get some good business for the innkeeper. And if the driver was loopy…Well…
A yard glass might be considered an early form of the “beer bong”. They were used in rituals and celebrations of various sorts, but mostly including contests for who could drink the most, the fastest. They are traditionally – and still are – used in pub games and for assorted celebrations. In Australia, Yard Glasses are very popular and come in various sizes and colors.
Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia, is recorded as having consumed a yard of ale in less than 12 seconds, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. A quick search on the web and you can see videos of record breaking wannabees.
Personally, I’ll just watch the contestants. BTW, Black Bucket Brew does not suggest the frivolous or irresponsible use of alcohol.
Yard of Ale
“Yard of Ale” is another name that Yard Glasses are called. Although in a pinch, lager could be drunk from an ale glass. 😉
Libbey, the glass company, makes half yard glasses (18” tall) that could be used as ”tasting” glasses (if you want a really big taste), or perhaps “training wheels” for those who aren’t ready for the whole 9 yards – oops – make that one full yard.
It’s also easier to find a place to put my half yard glass in the kitchen, than it would be the whole yard. And the glass looks really cool sitting there between uses!
The way the yard glass looks reminds me of test tubes and laboratories. The legend of stagecoach drivers is my preferred image. And if some great microbrews were lined up in some miniature, tasting-size “yard glasses”, it would make for a really interesting beer flight. Cheers!
by David Ivey