The quality of the beer is one thing, but the type of vessel you pour it into also affects your experience of the beverage. Sure, you could just pour your favourite imperial stout into a plastic beaker or coffee mug but would you really be doing it justice? Probably not.
Aside from just looking fancy, the shape and style of the glassware plays a big role in how you experience the drink. They’ve been designed to enhance the aromatic compounds which are specific to different kinds of beer. We already know that smell is major factor in how we perceive flavour.
There’s probably hundreds of more styles out there, below are just a selection, Do you have a go to type of glass – a one size fits all style or are you passionate about the glassware? Let us know in the comments.
Beer Boot Glass
German Bierstiefens have been around for more than a century and it’s commonly known myth that a general promised to drink beer from his boot if they were triumphant in battle…they were and a glass boot was made to avoid spoiling his rather plush leather boots. They’ll often be seen at events around Germany, Switzerland, Austria and more recently the US.
Appropriate Styles: Märzen / oktoberfest, witbier, assorted German beers
These are large, bowl-shaped glassed which are commonly used for serving heavy Belgian Ales, German Bock’s etc Goblets have slightly thinner bowl walls. Both Chalices and Goblets will usually be decorated and their big, wide mouth design promotes big sips of the beer.
Appropriate Styles: Heavy, dark beers like Belgian IPAs, Belgian strong dark ale, dubbel, tripel, quad
Conical Pint Glass
These glasses are shaped like an inverted, truncated cone. They’re usually 15cm tall and taper out by 25mm in diameter over it’s height. You’ll find this to be the most common glass around and used to serve a huge array of beer styles regardless. Cheap to manufacture, clean and store – it’s a bulk buyers dream.
Appropriate Styles: Any, even Orange Juice and Lemonade will taste OK from this.
Jug Glasses or Dimple Mugs are shaped more like a large mug than a beer glass. The handle avoids the beer from being warmed through hot hands and are often popular with those that have restricted movement or lack of grip. They’re molded with a grid pattern of thickened glass to avoid mishaps in the washing process.
Appropriate Styles: American, German, English, and Irish beers of all sorts
These glasses have a somewhat of an iconic style about them, the ridges of the base help to aerate the aromas of the hops with every single sip. The tapered bowl and smaller mouth help to direct those smells directly to your nostrils.
Appropriate Styles: Any IPA variety
Nonik Pint Glass
This is a variation on the conical design which has a bulge just a few inches down from the mouth, which improves grip, prevents the glasses from sticking together when stacked and prevents the rim from being chipped or ‘nicked’, hence the name Nonik.
Appropriate Styles: British ales and lagers, pale ale, India pale ale, amber/red ale, brown ale, porter, milk stout, oatmeal stout, Scotch ale.
Pilsner glasses are usually smaller than a pint glass. Each is tall, slender and tapered which helps reveal the true colour and carbonation of the beer. The shape also helps to retain the beers head, which keeps aromas firmly under your nose whilst drinking.
Appropriate Styles: Pilsner, American adjunct lagers, bock, helles bock, maibock, Vienna lager, blonde ale, California common, Japanese rice lager, witbier
These are generally high, narrow and cylindrical and traditionally used for Kolsch style of beer. Stange gets its name from the German word for pole.
Soft hop and malt armoas are concentrated, much like a champagned flute with a thick bottomed base for sturdiness.
Appropriate styles: kölsch, bocks, lambics, gose, Czech pilsners, rye beer, altbier, rauchbier
These glasses are designed by Spiegelau and are somewhat of a hybrid of the Snifter and Nonik. The wide mouth is perfect for accomodating a long lasting, large head and the base is what really makes this glass work. The tapered stem creates a very steady flow of beer, allowing the hop aromas to swirl and enhance the flavours with every sip.
Appropriate styles: Any Stout variety
These are typically used for cognac and brandy but is also ideal for its ability to capture the essences of aromatic beers such as Double or Imperial IPA’s, Belgian ales, barley wines and wheat beers.
The shape helps to trap the volatiles, whilst allowing swirling to agitate them and produce a longer lasting aroma.
Appropriate styles: Double or Imperial IPA’s, Belgian ales, barley wines and wheat beers.
Teku Stem Glass
This type of glass was brought into the world in 2006 through a combination of efforts by Italian brewer Teo and beer expert Kuaska who wanted to create the shape of the universal beer glass.
it has a very thin lip, elegant long stem that prevents any heat transfer.
Appropriate styles: Whilst it is billed as a universal beer glass, we prefer this one for fruit beers, sours and farmhouse ales.
Tulip Glasses are very similar to the snifter. The bulbous body flares our to form a lip which helps head retention. It’s designed to promote the aroma and flavour of both Belgian Style beers and other malty, hop forward beers. It’s short stem allows swirling the volatiles, enhancing the sensory experience.
Appropriate styles: Belgian strong ale, Belgian dark ale, barleywine, double/imperial IPA, Belgian IPA, Belgian pale ale, bière de garde, Flanders red ale, gueuze, fruit lambic, saison, American wild ale, Scotch ale
These are primariliy used to serve wheat beer. The glass is narrow at the bottom and slightly wider at the mouth. The width helps to release aromas and provides room for a thick, fluffy head. Being so narrow and long, it helps to show off the colour of wheat beers.
Appropriate styles:Wheat ale, dunkelweizen, hefeweizen, kristalweizen, weizenbock