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 Object 2018
Blown glass.
380 x 350 mm.

People have been talking about "beer glass" only since the shaping and industrial production of glass was perfectly mastered, that is to say since the 19th century. Previously, beer was drunk in "beer pots" (terracotta bowls) and then in metal (tin), wood or stoneware containers. Then appeared the mug, quickly made of transparent glass to facilitate the filling of the beer (engraved measuring line).


The bock is a type of beer glass containing a quarter of a liter. It is vertically streaked to slow the warming of the beverage ; the cold beer is thus not in direct contact with the heat of the hand.

This glass is usually accompanied by its sous-bock (literally "under-bock"), whose origin dates back to the end of the 19th century. It was probably invented in Germany, an important brewing ground. Usually made of cardboard, it is a coaster (typically round or square) specifically designed to put beer glasses on.


Originally, its role is to protect the table from moisture, by absorbing the condensation that forms and flows along the bock. It also protects the table from possible splashing.

The cardboard (absorbent) avoids wiping each glass, thus saving time and facilitating the task of the bartender who no longer has to systematically mop up the counter or the table. The sous-bock also guarantees a sound insulation, absorbing the sound of the shock of the glass being placed on the counter.


Initially blank, without any inscription, it will quickly wear the colors of his original brewery. Thus, bock and sous-bock will quickly become an advertising and commercial medium for breweries, since they are decorated with the colors of a brand (usually, the brand of the sous-bock is matched with the bock and the beer that is served).


In Germany, beer is traditionally savored in a "Biergarten" ("beer garden"), under the shade of chestnut trees. The use of mugs with lids has progressively disappeared, thus it is nowadays customary to put the sous-bock on the glass, to prevent insects, flowers or leaves of chestnut trees to fall in it.

The act of putting a coaster on his glass can also mean that this glass is not abandoned, when the drinker has to leave the table or the counter.


Bock and sous-bock reflect the art of enjoying a beer and appreciating it (freshness, quality, shape of the glass, etc) ; these ingenious objects, specially designed for beer, illustrate the local particular importance given to this beverage.

This vase takes up the functional grooves of the bock, while taking inspiration from the functions of the sous-bock, which can be placed both on the glass and under the glass.