Beer glasses make every brew taste better. Serve your suds in iced beer mugs or quaff craft beer in pilsner glasses.
I guess many people wonder why normally we use glasses to drink beer? When you drink out of a bottle or can, you leave your nose out of the party. There’s a case to be made that the eye is an important part of this equation, as well. Pouring a beer into a glass shows off its color, clarity, bubbles, and foam, a view that can add to your excitement when you’re about to partake in the refreshing elixir that’s been delighting humankind since approximately 9,000 B.C.Compared to the thousands of years that humans enjoyed a beer out of stone, wood, and even sacks of leather, the proliferation, and popularization of beer glasses are relatively new, given that glass wasn’t mass produced until the late 1800s.
Here are a few types of beer glasses.
1 Beer Mugs. The first mass-produced beer glass was the 10-sided pint mug. The mug replaced pewter tankards but maintained a handle, which kept pub patrons’ hands from inadvertently warming up their brews. After WWII, this model was replaced by a shorter and wider mug embellished with a grenade-like pattern. While not designed to enhance the taste of a beer, the mug’s character, sturdiness, and size make it a great addition to a party, and it’s recently experienced a resurgence across the pub scene. A beer mug serves two main purposes: it helps you grip your wheat beer (when you’ve had a few extra) and ensures your hands don’t warm it up. They’re great for casually hanging at the bar or on the back deck. If you’re just trying to have your friends over to enjoy a few drinks.
2 Pilsner Glasses. Tall, slim, and slightly wider at the mouth, a pilsner glass makes visible the sparkle, clarity, and bubbles of pilsners and other lighter beers. At the same time, it helps retain a beer’s head, which keeps volatile aromatics locked under your nose. Typically, pilsner glasses hold less beer than a pint glass–usually somewhere in the vicinity of 12 to 14 ounces. Appropriate Beer Styles include pilsner, American adjunct lagers, bock, Helles Bock, Vienna lager, blonde ale, California common, Japanese rice lager, witbier.
3 Tulip Glass is best for: Belgian ales. Also works for IPAs and stouts. The bowl traps the aroma and the stem allows for a good swirl. This is one of the most versatile types of bar glasses. With its flared mouth, wide, bulbous belly, and stubby little stem, you’ll instantly feel like a Brugge-born Belgian beer snob. Aside from looking cool hanging from your bar and making you look like a better person than your bottle-guzzling friends, the glass shape actually takes a delicious beer style and makes it exquisite. This is one of the types of beer glasses that is a beer-enhancing machine from top to bottom—its rim corrals the head, its bulb traps more aromas inside, and the stem allows for an easy swirl to release more flavor. Sure, you can’t pronounce the beers right, but you’re drinking experience would look cool! Watch this video on how to pour your beer in this glass for added class!
4 The American Pint Glass is easy to clean, cheap holds a lot of beer. Pint glasses are popular not for their beer-enhancing abilities, but more so out of convenience. They are just a slight step up from your 19th century tar-smattered leather drinking flask. The reason they’re so popular is that they are easy to stack and clean, dirt cheap, and wide enough to hold a lot of wheat beer serving and slap a label on. Of course, if you’re just drinking a few beers at home, they’re better than the bottle. And, the wide mouth definitely helps release at least some extra flavor. Still, even if pint glasses can handle a number of different types of beer, they aren’t really good for any in particular. This pint glass is one of the most famous beer glass styles in the market.
5 Snifter Glasses are best for Heavy IPA (double/imperial), Belgian ales, stouts, barleywine. Benefits include wide bowl for swirling and agitation, tapered mouth for aroma. If you’re the kinda guy that loves a good heavy stout or IPA (or happens to be entering a Sir Winston Churchill lookalike contest), having a snifter in your hand will enhance your beer experience like few other types of beer glassware. Although traditionally used for cognac and brandy, beer lovers slowly discovered just how much they enhanced the aroma. We even tried a blind taste test here and the results speak for themselves—the snifter glasses won every time. The wide belly short stems are great for swirling and agitating your beer for extra flavor and the tapered lip lets your palette capture more subtle aroma from the drink. Oh yeah, and you can sound like a snob while drinking one.
Of course, there are more types of beer glasses and you could pour your favorite ale into whatever container you have lying around and successfully deliver beer to your mouth. But there is a reason why particular styles of beer are traditionally served in specific types of beer glasses. It isn’t just for looks. Rather, the different shapes and styles of beer glassware on the market were, in many cases, designed to make more pronounced or otherwise enhance the aromatic compounds inherent to different kinds of beer. And as we all know, the smell has a huge impact on how we perceive flavor. Ergo, the right beer glass can take your beer-drinking experience to new heights.