Pretentious Glass Co is a glassblowing studio dedicated to glassware designed specifically for Craft Beer, Wine, Cocktails and Whiskey. It is one half of the Pretentious Beer & Glass Company (now called Pretentious Craft Co). The other half is Pretentious Beer Co, a Craft Beer Brewery that focuses on experimental and one-of-a-kind brews. This combo is the brain child of glass artist turned brewer, Matthew Cummings. Both businesses are located in the heart of downtown Knoxville and connected via a stunning beer garden. To our knowledge, this is the only place in the world where you can drink beer made-in-house, out of glasses made-in-house, and watch everything being produced!
Pretentious originated in 2012 from a small drinking club at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville, KY. Each Friday afternoon, a group of artists/entrepreneurs would take off work early to sit in the courtyard and drink great craft beer. After a couple “too many” (all good ideas start this way, right?) the club decided that I should make beer glasses for everyone. I designed the Hoppy Beer glass and gave each member a customized version of that glass. After making that first glass, I started to notice a lack of unique beer glasses for craft beer. It was just such an obvious problem that it was invisible…hiding out in the open. I started the Pretentious Beer Glass Company as a remedy for that problem, and spent over 6 months making, testing, and refining designs that highlight different styles.
We make all the glasses by hand at Matthew Cummings Studios in Knoxville, TN. We use techniques that haven’t really changed in several hundred years (except for a few safety features). Molten glass is collected on a hollow blowpipe, and shaped with the use of wet newspaper pads or wooden tools. After the glasses are finished hot, we take each glass to the coldshop where we engrave and/or grind the bottoms flat. Once finished, each glass gets inspected and then we package them in branded gift boxes. Despite the volume and breadth of distribution of these products, it is still a small scale operation with the help of a few friends, who quickly became family. I hope that you enjoy drinking out of these glasses as much as we have enjoyed making them for you.
Matthew Cummings is an artist/designer working primarily with glass. He lives and drinks in Knoxville, TN. Pretentious Glass Co is his answer to boring and under-designed beer glasses. In 2018, Matthew brought the dream full circle by opening up Pretentious Beer Co next door. An experimental brewery that focuses on developing new flavor profiles in beer.
Alex Greenwood, (aka Greenwood, aka Mr G, aka Geezy, aka sugar britches) began blowing glass in 2001. He and Matthew met while both attending the Appalachian Center for Crafts in 2005. The bromance began immediately, and has only grown stronger over the years. The two friends have worked together many times in their careers as artists and solidified their working relationship when Greenwood moved to Knoxville in March of 2020 to take a full time position at the studio. An auspicious and ultimately fortuitous timing.
Knoxville based artist, Marisa (Mars) Mitchell, is a sculptor working in a variety of mediums including glass, metal, wood, concrete, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tennessee. Since graduating she has created work that can be seen throughout East Tennessee. Glass being one of her favorite mediums led her to becoming a full time assistant at PBGC, where she helps create unique glassware for people all over the world.
J. Alexander Ward is a gaffer at Pretentious Glass and he is enamored with the glass process. Technique is his passion and if he’s not blowing glass, he’s either spending time with his dog, Judson, or playing Rocket League with friends.
Steph Wadman is an artist, designer, foodie, and burgeoning beer drinker. Hailing from Canada and bebopping around the USA, Steph landed in Knoxville, TN for good in 2019 enjoying the foods, beers, and down-home feels.