Know Your Beer and Drink it Too: Common Beer Glassware
Beer can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, but if you drink directly from the bottle you could be missing out on some of your beer’s best characteristics including color, aroma, and enhanced flavor. Pouring beer into a glass exposes these additional features which triggers your senses and improves your overall experience with that beer. Depending on the beer style, glassware is specifically shaped and curved to provide the most ideal environment for your beer to be consumed. From bottle to snifter, here is a list of common beer glasses and what styles of beer you should pour in them.
A pint glass or tumbler is one of the most common beer glasses for restaurants and bars because they are low cost, simple to clean, and stack very well. The US style pint glass, called a tumbler, is 16 ounces, has a cylinder shaped bottom, and gradually widens near the top of the glass to accommodate for the head of the beer when poured. The Nonic or Imperial style pint glass is 20 ounces and features a curved ridged near the top of the glass for beer that requires additional head room. Tumblers and nonic pints are a great start to building your beer glass library because a majority of beer styles can be served in them including pale ales, IPAs, lagers, and stouts.
Enjoyed with the popular weizen or wheat style beer, the weizen glass is generously curved with a wider top to allow room for the large amount of pillowy head and showcase the delicious banana aromas produced by this summer favorite style.
A mug or stein are fan favorites because they are sturdy, feature a convenient handle, and hold a great deal of beer. Because of their hefty design, these glasses are ideal for large and lively festivals because they are strong enough for hearty toasts and cheers. Both glasses come in a variety of sizes, but the stein features a lid and is typically not made of glass. The stein lid was crafted in Europe during the 16th century in order to protect from spreading disease and continues to be popular in Germany and as a souvenir.
A glass designed for the beer style by the same name, a pilsner glass is skinny and long with a wider top to accommodate for the head. Similar to the flute glass, the pilsner amplifies the carbonation and color of the classic pils style.
Similar to a champagne glass, a flute is tall and narrow with a stem in order to to showcase the bubbly carbonation and sparkling colors of effervescent beer such as a Czech pilsner.
Popular at colleges, birthday parties, and backyard bbqs, a cup is still a nice social option especially when a lot of beer needs to go around and minimal dishwashing is desired. Lagers and high quantities of beer are served in a cup especially if you are tapping from a keg and don’t have a large amount of glassware available.
A stange is a German style glass that is generally smaller in volume compared to other glassware and shaped like a skinny cylinder or rod. The stange glass is used for delicate beer styles such as a Kölsch that require some assistance to showcase their complete aroma and flavor profiles.
A snifter is similar to a wine glass with a wide-bowled bottom, slightly narrowed top, and shorter stem. This type of glass is reserved for stronger and higher ABV type ales due to its ability to showcase their aromas and is an excellent addition to your cabinet especially if you are a fan of Imperial IPAs, Imperial stouts, or burly barleywines.
We aren’t total beer glass snobs here! If you don’t have any of the glassware above or you don’t feel like washing yet another glass, a bottle or can will still get beer into your mouth if that’s your ultimate goal.