Have you ever wondered why there are so many types of beer glasses out there? Or do you also wonder which among them is the best glass to drink beer in?
This short read will definitively answer both questions and more, so pour yourself a cold one and enjoy as we explore the wondrous world of beer glasses.
A Glass for Every Kind of Beer
So, is there one type of glass that is the best for beer drinking? The short answer to that is no.
No one type of glass can serve every type of beer perfectly. There exist plenty of glass types because there exist plenty of kinds of beer. The best of each beer is brought out only when served in its proper glass type.
The better question would be; what beer is best enjoyed in every kind of beer glass?
The Shaker Pint
The quintessential beer glass, the shaker pint, is the most commonly used beer glass of our time. It holds around 16 to 20 ounces of beer, and it has replaced the tankard as the most popular glass to serve beer in during the mid-20th century.
Shape: It is a tall glass with a lip wider than its bottom. The pint is good for a bubbly head of foam on top of ice-cold beer.
Best for: The shaker pint is best for most kinds of beers served in bars and pubs such as lagers, IPAs, American ales, and pilsners.
These stemmed glasses retain cold temperatures well because holding their stem does not transfer your hand’s heat to your beer. Its shape maintains its head well and is great for beers that have a great aroma.
Shape: The chalice is a stemmed glass that has a narrow lip and body that holds a good volume of beer. Its shape is good for swirling CO2 heavy beers to release flavor and aroma.
Best for: CO2-heavy beers such as Belgian Tripels, strong dark ales, and Quadrupels.
These glasses are a sexier variation to the pint glass. They have roughly the same shape but have a distinct narrow hip that traps sediment when you drink wheat ales, bocks, and the like.
Shape: They are as tall as pint glasses but feature a curvier and slim silhouette. It has a thin waist and a bowl-like top portion that narrows towards the lip for more head retention.
Best for: Wheat ales, Weizenbocks, Hefeweizen craft beer, or any beer that have sediment at the bottom.
These robust glasses come in a variety of forms, from beer steins, wooden tankards, custom ceramic beer steins, and glass beer mugs. These are great for boisterous celebrations and toasting to fun and friendship. Their sturdy construction holds a lot of beer.
Shape: They are usually made of glass, stone, wood, or horn. These are heavily built glasses that have one handle, although some custom beer steins and mugs may even have two handles.
Best for: Stout beers, ales, but generally are a popular choice for any beer you drink in lively celebration.
Champagne Flute (Looking Glass)
These narrow, stemmed glasses are usually used to feature a beer with great color and carbonation.
Shape: These are like chalices but are taller and narrower. The shape of these glasses helps facilitate the release of aromas.
Best for: Sours, Lambics, Champagne, Fruit beers, and Gueuze.
These glasses are a European and US staple, they help feature a beer’s carbonation and color.
Shape: The Pilsner’s shape helps bring out beer’s flavor and aroma through a tall, and skinny profile like that of a pint with a wide lip that narrows sharply towards the bottom. Its base then widens to have better support and sturdiness.
Best for: Pilsners, of course, a variety of light ales, American lagers, and German lagers.
Stange means "rod" in German and it is exactly that. It has no frills and curves and is great in releasing all volatiles and aroma the moment beer is poured in. The stange is reserved for mild beers and will release more flavor and aroma.
Shape: The stange glass is a tall glass that is straight from the base to its lip.
Best for: Mild, delicate beers, German Kolsh, Gueuze, Rye, and Lambic beers.
These stemmed glasses are usually used for cognac or brandy but are also great for swirling beer in to release but trap volatiles and aroma for a more intense beer drinking experience.
Shape: These are like squat and robust chalices that have a big round bowl and a narrow lip.
Best for: IPA, Belgian Pale Ale, Tripels, Quadrupels, Barley wine, Scottish heavy, cognac, brandy.
These glasses are a variation to the shaker pint with the distinction of a bulge about an inch from the lip. These pints are good for most beers and are a staple at English pubs.
Shape: Nonics are normal pints with a bulge that gives the drinker a sturdier grip on his beer. Their bulges knock into each other instead of their lips. This bulge protects other Nonic pints from nicks in storage and handling and is where the glass’s name originates from; “no-nick” pint.
Best for: Any beer that an ordinary pint can handle, like pilsners, ales, and IPAs.
The Belgian Tulip
These are similar to the Snifter and are used to release aromas and volatiles for the drinker's enjoyment.
Shape: A stemmed, bulbous glass with a slight flare at the lip for better head retention.
Best for: Belgian ales, Scottish ales, and for other malt-heavy, hoppy styles of beers.
The Teku is a long-stemmed glass with a more angular silhouette. It has a bowl that narrows sharply towards the top and has a lip that flares ever so slightly outwards.
Shape: The Teku’s shape facilitates minimal heat transfer from the drinker's hand. Its bowl in combination with its lip flare will not allow any sediment from reaching the drinker’s mouth. The Teku also retain a great head of foam.
Best for: Sour beer, aromatic craft beers, IPAs, Wheat beers, Weizenbock, and fruit beers.
These stemmed glasses encourage the drinker to swirl their beer for maximum aromatic and flavor release.
Shape: These are like a cross between a snifter and a chalice. What makes the Classic Tulip distinct, though, is a slight flair at its lip that releases aroma from the head of foam.
Best for: Heavy, strong brew beers, like Belgian ales, Scottish ales, Barley wines, and Double IPAs.
The Right Glass for Every Kind of Beer
As we have seen, no one type of glass will be the best for all beers. Each glass was made to be the best for specific beers.
You love beer, and you want to enjoy each glass to the fullest. That’s why we recommend familiarizing yourself with which beer goes with which glass.