There are those who think a great beer is a work of art, and there are those who appreciate the vessel from which it is poured.
The lambic pitchers used to serve the beers at Fermentery Form were thrown on a pottery wheel by Lauren Stichter, graduate program director, Masters in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations.
Form was created by friends and partners Ethan Tripp, Matt Stone and Scott Hatch. A childhood friendship was the connection to Stichter.
“Ethan and I have known each other since we were kids,” she said. “And Matt Stone grew up with my husband. Ethan, Matt and Scott had this concept for making lambic pitchers. I’m still a practicing potter, so I said, ‘Sure!’”
Lambic pitchers were used for serving a type of beer called lambic from the cask at cafes throughout Belgium, before bottling became prominent. The pitcher allowed for a more communal experience and made it easier to serve larger groups.
Stichter said the partners picked up pitchers they liked at antique stores and talked about the collection they had.
“We worked up a design based on their favorites,” she said.
Form’s pitchers are earthy-looking, a speckled beige high-fire stoneware dipped in a white glaze, “to show off the different colors of the beer itself,” she said.
“We didn’t want the pitcher to be too fancy, we want people to pay attention to the beer,” she said. They hold 750 milliliters, with room for head.
Stichter’s studio is in Lebanon, Pa., in the basement of her in-laws’ house, so making the pitchers took a bit of planning.
“It took about three weekends to get it all together,” she said. “I can throw it in five minutes, and add a handle in another five, but when you’re only able to visit the studio so often, it takes a little while.”
The pitchers also have a stamp of the letter ‘F’ at the base of the handle, created by Chris Sweeney, a teacher at the Charter High School of Architecture and Design in Philadelphia.
“We asked him to 3D print a stamp for us,” Stichter said. “So you’re bringing in technology, craft beer and the traditional artistry of making ceramic vessels.”
Stichter’s husband, Will, also added some artwork – he helped design and build the space Fermentery Form occupies at 1700 North Palethorp Street.
Read more about Fermentery Form here.