Taster Flight Project

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We occasionally have get togethers where we have several people tasting several beers at the same time, and we have always cobbled together a collection of 25 assorted sample glasses collected at various beer festivals or similar events. I wanted to get a consistent set of glasses and be able to pack them up to take them places if needed.

Around the same time we decided to pull the trigger and get rid of the old collection and order new glasses, we discovered that you could buy used whisky barrel staves on Amazon, and thought it would be cool to build taster flights as well.

So, we bought 10 used whisky barrel staves. The widths can vary fairly significantly, but we found a listing that said they’d guarantee none were narrower than 3 inches. We ordered three dozen 5.5oz Acopa taster glasses from another website.

I wanted to have a spot for five glasses on each stave because we often do five beers at a time. Basically eyeballing, we decided to cut them to 22″ long and put the holes 3.5″ apart from each other center-to-center. We original planned to put feet on them, but decided against it for simplicity and because we thought they looked cooler without them.

Basic process and tools and materials:

  • Start with staves.
  • Miter saw at a fairly arbitrary angle (outside on top, inside on the bottom) on both sides to cut them down to the center 22 inches
  • 2″ hole saw 3.5″ spacing 5x for the holes (1 7/8″ was not only hard to find, but too small for the glasses), cut using a hand drill (a drill press would have been really nice for this step
  • Wire brush to clean off the big chunks of ash or other loose material
  • Sandpaper on the outside edges just to get rid of the whiskers left behind
  • Drum sander on the inside of the holes
  • Three coats of varnish liberally applied
    • I used vinyl gloves to keep it off my hands and let me handle the wet staves
    • I drove some wood screws through cardboard to make drying stands, figuring the points of the screws would leave no noticeable mark in the burnt texture on the bottom of the staves
    • 1.5-2 hours in between coats

That’s basically it. We’re keeping six of them, and giving P Dubs four of them.

We used eight of them to support a 10 year vertical flight of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot for four people after Chilkat’s birthday party with our Oregon friends.

Note: Power tools on used whisky barrel staves smells delicious.

Also note: Glass base diameters varied quite a bit. The first stave we drilled with 1 7/8″ hole saws, which was OK for the first one or two glasses we tried (when they were cold) — which unfortunately were some of the narrowest ones we had. It took forever with the drum sander and a hand drill to open up the holes.

Posted by snaotheus

1 comment

Well done, and they look great!

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