There is a multitude of types of beer glasses out there. From tall and slender pilsner pints to broad, hearty, stein beer mugs. These shapes not only make your beer look nice and enticing, but each silhouette serves a different purpose.
Every shape, size, and type of beer glass was created and refined by various respective beer-drinking cultures. Every beer variety has its corresponding beer glass that will give the drinker the best drinking experience.
Different shapes and features on different beer glasses serve specific purposes that bring out the best in a variety of beers. Tall pints are not just for fitting a whole pint of beer in one glass, but also give your beer a nice aroma.
Squat, beer stein glass mugs don’t just look appealing but are also the optimum beer vessel to keep your beer cold the longest.
Tasting beer glasses let you sample several brews the bar has on tap and get an unforgettable experience. These glasses let you have 4 or 5 beers at a time! – but only in minute quantities.
Read on and find out what different features in a beer glass enhance your beer drinking experience.
Some History to the Beer Glass
Humans from diverse cultures all around the world have had their own versions of beer since time immemorial. The earliest records of humans drinking beer reveal that people enjoyed beer as early as 10,000 years ago in extraordinary vessels – animal skins, horn, stone, pewter, and wood were the early equivalent to our modern beer glasses.
The beer glass flourished and became popular in the 19th century. Glass blowing techniques made it possible to fashion every type of beer glass. The dawn of the 20th century, however, was the time when the beer glass became an art form. Connoisseurs of beer later on defined the beer-drinking culture by deeming which beer type goes best with every beer glass.
Raise a glass to our ancestors who crafted an incredible beer-drinking culture!
Types of Beer Glasses
Here is a list of the most quintessential beer glasses, their specialized functions, and their other features.
- Pilsner – The pilsner is a simple, conical glass with a narrow base that flares wider towards the top. It is a very versatile glass that brings out the best in a lot of beers.
Lagers, ale, Pilsner, and bock are some of the beers enjoyed in the pilsner glass.
Common in the US and Europe, the pilsner's narrow base and wider top help gradually release your beer's flavor. The head of foam created by the pilsner shape helps retain the aroma, so you get the same taste and fragrance from your first sip to your last one.
- Traditional Pint – The most common and most simplistic of beer glasses, this shape grew in popularity during the early to mid 20th century. The pint replaced the tankard and became the standard vessel to serve beer in.
The traditional pint will perform well for most if not all kinds of beers but will be best for IPA, lagers, American ales, and Pilsner.
Variations include the American pint, the Nonic pint, and the tulip pint.
- Weizen – Weizen meaning wheat in German, these glasses are like pints with a narrower base that widens towards the top but recedes inwards toward the edge. This shape functions to stop any yeast solids from being swallowed by the beer drinker.
These are best for wheat beers, white ales, and warm gose.
- Tulip and Thistle – Tulips look like glass goblets with short stems. These are best for strong beers like Belgian beers, Saisons, double stouts, and strong ales.
Thistles resemble their real-life flower counterparts, with a bulbous base and a short stem. The rest of the thistle flares outwards to accommodate a foamy head. Thistles are best for malty, hoppy, robust aromatic brews like Belgian ales, Barley wines, Scottish ales, heavy, and double IPAs.
- Rye – Commonly known as the stange glass, its tall, simplistic cylindrical shape is best for delicate beers like bock or Kolsh because it elevates flavors.
- Mug – Mugs do the best job of keeping your beer cold for longer. These robust glasses are the descendants of the German beer stein. Popular in pubs and bars and even as a personal custom beer stein, the mug will be great for any type of beer.
- Blonde – Like a narrow pilsner glass, this beer glass is best for delicate and light beers like light lagers, light ales, cream, and wheat ales.
- Snifter – Mainstays for drinking whiskeys and cognacs, snifters are also good for drinking strong beers such as Belgian IPAs and Double Imperial IPAs. These short-stemmed glasses are a large bowl vessel that tapers towards the top to inhibit being filled to the brim.
- Tasting – Aka sampler glass, these are used to serve several beers that a pub has on tap. These glasses let you have 4 or 5 beers at a time in minute quantities, so you could choose your preferred beer and commit to a bigger serving of beer in bigger glasses.
- Ale – Aka the Nonic pint, the ale glass looks like the American pint but has a bulge around where you hold the glass for additional grip for the drinker and will serve to avoid chipping when being stored. Best for ales, of course, IPAs, and stouts.
- Lager – Looks like the offspring of a pint and pilsner glass, with a narrow base and a wide rim. This tall glass promotes carbonation retention and a great foam head. Best for lagers.
- Goblet & Challice – best for heavy beers like German bocks and Belgian IPA's, these tall, slender bowls on thick stems promote big gulps directing beer behind the tongue for that wholesome serving of bitter goodness in every swig.
To Conclude Things
Is it better to drink beer out of a specialised beer mug? Yes! It is life-changing. Drinking beer in these fabulous vessels is simply the best, so you will not want to drink beer in any other way. You know and love your favorite beer. You’ll do yourself a huge favor if you go a step further and learn what glass is best for it. This way, you’ll be enjoying your same favorite beer but enjoying it ten times better! And who wouldn’t want that?