Beer is a staple drink in any occasion, gatherings, or simply in daily life. It’s a refreshing drink that invigorates the consumer after a long day’s work.
What if we tell you that there is an easy way to take your beer experience up a notch?
And it’s as simple as choosing the glass you drink your beer from!
Believe it or not, the shape of the beer vessel already alters a lot. For starters, the glass shape affects the aroma and the rate of your drinking speed.
A wide-mouthed glass exposes the beer more, letting it aerate faster, which means it will lose its aroma and carbonation fast. Though this is not much of a problem since the big opening also pours more beer out into your mouth. You will finish the drink even before it loses the aroma and goes flat.
We’ll discuss the effects of glass shape further as we talk about the different types of cups you can use to drink your beer. At the end of this article, you will hopefully be able to choose which drinking vessel you would like to try to improve your drinking experience.
What are the best glasses for beer?
To choose the best glass for beer drinking, we must first define what is the best beer experience.
The aroma from the volatiles in the beer that gets aerated plays a big factor in the experience. The smell it emits enhances the taste of what we are drinking. However, if it continuously evaporates, the liquid will lose its smell and taste will become less appealing.
This is where the beer head comes into play. Notice the signature layer of thick bubbles on top of our beer? That is the head that forms when the beer is poured into a drinking glass. This serves as a lid that keeps the volatiles from evaporating too fast.
So, to get a good beer experience, we want a drinking vessel that will keep a good amount of head. This will keep our drink smelling and tasting good for longer.
- Steins and mugs
Mugs are thick-walled large drinking vessels with a handle on the side. A mug with a lid is called a stein.
Steins were invented out of necessity during the time of the Black Plague. People needed the lid to keep the flies from getting into their drinks.
Without the worry of flies, the German beer stein and mugs are now the popular choice in bars as they can hold a large amount of drink, usually about 20 ounces.
The handle keeps your hand from warming up the drink. It also makes clinking glasses easier.
- Goblets or chalices
The goblet, also called a chalice, has a wide mouth capable of holding a thick head of foam. As discussed earlier, the wider rim also lets the drinker swig a good portion of the flavorful beer.
What makes it unique is that it has a short stem that you can hold to keep your beer from getting warmed by your hand. The way it is held also looks classier than just holding a regular beer mug.
The pilsner glass is like a trumpet that has a narrow base that flares out to a slightly wider mouth. It was designed specifically for enjoying pilsner beer. However, it can also be used to appreciate the pale color and fizzy bubbles of any light-colored beer.
Standard pilsner glasses can hold about 12 to 14 ounces of your favorite drink.
- Tulip or thistle
The tulip or thistle is similar to the goblet in that it has a stem. The main difference though is the shape of the vessel. It resembles its namesake, the tulip or the thistle.
The wide bottom lets it fizz, while the narrow neck holds the head, keeping the aroma in for you to enjoy longer.
It can hold about 16 ounces of liquid and is usually used to serve strong and dark ales.
The Weizen glass was originally designed to hold wheat beer as the word "weizen" literally means "wheat."
Its shape resembles that of the pilsner glass which means it holds a good head of foam. The thick foam makes the drink look sweeter and more enticing.
The difference is that the Weizen has a capacity of 24 ounces, that’s double the amount you can drink in a pilsner!
A snifter is similar to a goblet, it has a short stem. The difference is its short and wide body that tapers at the lip. This narrow mouth lets the drinker get a good sniff of the drink as the aroma gets concentrated there.
It also has a smaller capacity, about 6 to 8 ounces, but it is usually only partly filled. These are best used for serving aged brown liquor like brandy and whisky.
The stange glass looks similar to the glass we usually drink our iced tea in. The tall and sleek design is perfect for light German beers. The narrow mouth concentrates the light aroma and flavor of the beer, letting you enjoy it more.
It has a small capacity of about 7 ounces. So, if you’re not much of a drinker, this might be the perfect match. You can easily nurse your drink, taking tiny sips from its narrow lip.
The flute vessel is similar to the champagne flute glass in that it is narrow at the bottom. This keeps in the fizz longer. The slightly wider mouth keeps enough head to hold the aroma. This is perfect for light-bodied lagers.
The pint glass is best-suited for those who are big beer drinkers. Its large body can hold about 16 to 20 ounces of your favorite ale. The wide mouth holds a good head.
The slightly tapered bottom lets you easily stack these when not in use, which is why it is widely used at bars.
How to choose the best type of glass to complement your beer style?
The beer experience is not just about the taste and aroma, it is also about the visual aspect, the temperature, and the body or fizz of the drink.
Choose the best drinking vessel that enhances what you love in your favorite beer variety.
A popular choice for the best experience is the beer stein. What makes it so good? Here’s why:
- It has a classic look.
- It holds a large capacity. You can have more of your drink and enjoy more time chilling before you need to go get a refill.
- The thick walls keep your drink cold for longer.
- The sturdy walls of the wooden beer stein let you toast and bang mugs with your friends without the worry of breaking your mug.
- The handle makes it easy to hold and carry around.
Get the full beer experience
Enjoy your next Oktoberfest beer in an authentic German stein to get the full experience. Just try it. You will never drink beer any other way again.