Glassology

Certain types of beer are better served in certain styles of glassware to enable you to fully appreciate the quality of the beer. However, this doesn't mean that you'll spoil a beer by pouring into the wrong glass. The glass shape and features can increase the drinking experience such as trapping the aroma, aiding in maintaining large heads, and creating a visual and olfactory sensation.

Glassware is just as important as picking the right beer. Just like when drinking a fine wine or scotch, making the right glass choice improves your overall experience. The proper glass ignites the senses the brewer intended when taking a sip of the beer. The glass itself sets up expectations for each beer. The different shapes and sizes create anticipation even before the beer is poured. Just like each beer is different, each glass conveys a separate experience. If the same beer was drunk from each distinct glass style, each would have its subtle differences in the aromas and flavors. Finding the right glassware in a pub or restaurant can be a problem but if all else fails, ask for the beer to be served in an oversized wine glass. One thing you should do is always pour the beer out of the bottle.

Chalice
Chalice

Chalice glass are similar to goblet glass but are thicker and heavier. A chalice will always have good weight, thick wall, hefty base and a wide bowl that is sometimes etched to nucleate a stream of carbonation to aid in head presence and maintenance.


Use: Belgian Dubbels, Belgian Tripels, Belgian Quadrupels, Berliner Weissbiers, Big Belgian Ales (high in ABV), German Bocks, German Maibocks, Imperial IPAs, Imperial Stouts and most other big beers styles that have a high ABV.

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Flute

A flute beer glass is designed to retain some of the same properties found in fine champagne, including active carbonation, intense aroma and an appealing presentation. A flute is typically tall, long-stemmed and slender made with thin-walled glass. The long stem allows enjoyment of the beer without warming the bowl. While the bowl helps create a thick head.


Use: Bière de Champagne or Brut, Eisbock, Fruit Beers, Gueuze, Krieks, Lambics, Pilsners, Red Ales and Schwarzbiers

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Goblet

The goblet glass is similar to a chalice but has thinner walls, can be more ornate and are more readily available. Many breweries in Belgium use this glass style to serve their beers making the goblet one of the more popular and iconic beer glasses.


Use: Belgian Dubbels, Belgian Tripels, Belgian Quadrupels, Berliner Weissbiers, Big Belgian Ales (high in ABV), German Bocks, German Maibocks, Imperial IPAs, Imperial Stouts and most other big beers styles that have a high ABV

Humpen Ton
Humpen

A Humpen or Bierkrug, Steinkrug, Bierseidel, Henkel (Berlin), Halben (N. Germany) and Walzenkrug. This beer mug holds .5L of beer in a heavy cylindrical shaped mug. This type of  mug, often confused with a Stein, has been in use since the 1600s. Usually made from Stoneware, but sometimes is made from glass, silver or tin.


Used for: Pilsners, Oktoberfest biers, American Lagers, Irish Red Ales, English Stouts, Porters, and Schwarzbier

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Maß

A Maß or Mass is a Bavarian word for a unit of volume, and in this case, the volume is exactly 1 liter, the amount of beer this heavy duty beer mug holds. As Maß as a unit of measure and not a description of the glass, this allows various designs of glasses. Modern Maßkrugs are often handled glass tankards, although they may also similar to beer steins.


Use: Pilsners, Oktoberfest biers, American Lagers, Irish Red Ales, English Stouts, Porters, and Schwarzbier

Mug
Mug, Dimpled

This type of mug was used in pubs all across England from the 1920’s though the 1980s. During this time, bar patrons preferred ales and this was the perfect serving glass. As tastes changed and lagers became more popular, pubs moved away from the dimpled mug in favor of pint glasses. The dimples (or eyes) serve two purposed, makes griping the beer easier and makes it easy to measure the pour.


Use: Most English Ales, English Stouts, Porters, and Schwarzbier

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Pint, American

The American pint or shaker is the most commonly used beer glass by most bars across America. It holds 16 US fluid ounces (473 ml) however with the foam, the actual beer fill is approximately 14 oz. The shaker glass gained its name from its originally use for shaking cocktails, before bar owners began to use it as a glass.


Use:American Ales, American Lagers, Black and Tans, English Ales, English Lagers, IPAs, Irish Stouts, German Lagers, Oatmeal Stouts, Porters, Stouts

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Pint, Nonic

The nonic glass was developed by the glassware industry to be easily stackable. The top of the glass was heat treated so as not to chip the rim when pulling aware from the beer tap not to nick or ‘no nick’. Nonic glasses are a traditional English-style pint glass that typically holds an imperial pint or 20oz but smaller glasses are also widely available.


Use: American Ales, American Lagers, Black and Tans, English Ales, English Lagers, IPAs, German Lagers, Oatmeal Stouts, Porters, Stouts

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Pint, Tulip

A Maß or Mass is a Bavarian word for a unit of volume, and in this case, the volume is exactly 1 liter, the amount of beer this heavy duty beer mug holds. As Maß as a unit of measure and not a description of the glass, this allows various designs of glasses. Modern Maßkrugs are often handled glass tankards, although they may also similar to beer steins.


Use: Pilsners, Oktoberfest biers, American Lagers, Irish Red Ales, English Stouts, Porters, and Schwarzbier

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Pokal

The perfect pokal is stemmed with a slender and narrow base and an overall conical shape. The slim shape shows off a lighter beer’s beautiful color while protecting its delicate head from dissipating too quickly. Because the head of a lighter beer holds many of its most appealing aromas, keeping the head intact also keeps the flavor of the beer at its best.


Use: American Ales, American Lagers, Black and Tans, English Ales, English Lagers, IPAs, German Lagers, Oatmeal Stouts, Porters, Stout

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Snifter

Snifters are the ideal choice for beer with an alcohol content of 7% or above which are best served at cool room temperature The short stem of the snifter forces the drinker to cup the snifter’s bowl in their palm, which allows heat transfer from the palm to the beer. The warmer temperature helps unlock the flavors that the higher alcohol content brings.


Barleywine, Belgian Triples, Belgian Quads, Bocks, Imperial Ales, Imperial Stouts, Strong Ales, Scotch Ales, Most beers with over 7% ABV

stange
Stange

The nonic glass was developed by the glassware industry to be easily stackable. The top of the glass was heat treated so as not to chip the rim when pulling aware from the beer tap not to nick or ‘no nick’. Nonic glasses are a traditional English-style pint glass that typically holds an imperial pint or 20oz but smaller glasses are also widely available.


Use: American Ales, American Lagers, Black and Tans, English Ales, English Lagers, IPAs, German Lagers, Oatmeal Stouts, Porters, Stouts

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Tulip

The curved waist of a tulip glass gives a head a firm foundation; its rounded lower portion concentrates aromas as you drink the beer inside. Tulip glasses are an excellent option for any ale you’d like to savor. They tend to be smaller than other glass styles, so they’re great for strong barley wines and smoked beers.


Use: Bière de Garde, IPAs, Belgian Ales, Imperial Ales, Imperial Stouts, Saisons,Scotch Ales,Strong Ales

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Weizen

A Weizen or wheat beer glass resembles a pilsner glass in their height and dimensions. Most weizen glasses have more of a tulip shape compared to a pilsner’s more conical sides; this curvaceous shape highlights a wheat beer’s magnificent color and concentrates the aromas found in its head. In countries such as Belgium, the glass may be 0.25, 0.33l or 0.5 liters.


Use: All Wheat Beers, Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, Kristalweizen, Weizenbock

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Willybecher

The willybecher, or willibecher, is the standard beer glass in Germany and is one of the most versatile beer glass styles available. They typically hold 500 ml or 16.9 ounces of beer. Tall and sturdy with a thick base, this glass also features a subtle taper to concentrate aromas and make it easy to hold.


American Ales, Barley Wines, Belgian Ales, Biere de Garde, Imperial IPAs, Imperial Stouts, Saisons, Strong Ales and most other big beers (high ABV)

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Wine, Oversized

Similar to a goblet, a large wine glass can be used to serve some craft beer styles. The style is becoming popular with some high-end beer bar and breweries. The over-sized wine glass is just that a huge wine glass. The stemmed glass has a bowl that can typically accommodate over 20 ounces of beer.


Use: Ales, German Lagers, Helles, Helles Bock, IPAs, Maibock, Marzen, Oktoberfestbier, Pils or Pilsener, Rauchbier, Schwarzbier

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Boot

According to legend, over a century ago, a German general promised his troops that he would drink beer from his boot if they won in battle. After they did the general asked a local glassmaker to create a boot shaped beer glass, and thus custom was born. Nowadays the Beer Boot has become a drinking challenge or game. Remember, when drinking, point the tip of the boot down until you reach the bottom, then rotate… otherwise you will have a face full of beer.

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Spiegelau IPA

The glass design was a result of collaboration between two of America’s premier brewers, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada. Both of these breweries are renowned for their expertise in brewing hoppy beer. They bought their expert knowledge to Spiegelau and the result is this unique glass. Designed to showcase the complexity and aroma found in IPA’s, the shape of glass preserves a thick head and helps to enhance the taste and mouth feel.

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Horn

References to drinking horns found in various early literary works of the Classical Age including the writings of Julius Caesar, original were made from the horns of sheep, goats, and other bovids, and tended to lack ornate or metal decorations. Throughout the medieval period, drinking horns became more ornate, were made from glass, ceramics, or metal, and used by those of high status for ceremonial purposes, feasts, and celebrations.

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Kwak

One of the most collectible piece of brewery glassware, the uninique glass comes with a wooden stand that not only holds the glass but also offers a way to drink beer without touching the glass. Called a coachman’s beer glass, the wooden stand allowed coachman in a horse and buggy to be handed a beer in their travels. The wooden handle and stand also allows for both a good grip and a way stand to rest the glass – reducing the chances of the beer spilling.

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Beer Stein

The traditional Beer mug with a lid, what we call a Beer Stein, is a Deckelkrug, Seidel, or a Bierkrug. The pewter lids were introduced in the 16th century when laws were passed requiring that all food and drink containers have lids to help prevent the spread of the plague. The lids for these mugs have a simple hinge which makes them easy to open with your thumb. Deckelkrugs can be made from Glass, Porcelain, stoneware, pewter and even wood.

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Thistle

The thistle glass is a modified version of the tulip beer glass and it’s specially designed for enjoying delicious Scotch Ale. The thistle glass is the only glass to use to enjoy a scotch ale. The glass is shaped like a thistle flower (hence the name) which is the national flower of Scotland. Great for anyone that loves Scotch ales. as it captures and enhances volatiles while supporting large, foamy heads perfectly.

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Mason Jar

Mason jars hold 12 or typically 16 ounces and come either with or without a handle. The Mason jar was named after after the inventor and patentee John Landis Mason in 1858, who originally designed the molded glass jar for use in home canning to preserve food. Today, mason jars designed for drinking, have a wide mouth for easy cleaning, and a threaded neck to resemble the traditional jar. Takes you back to the days of listening to the wireless and drinking moonshine.

tnakard
Tankard

The tankard is a large, roughly cylindrical, drinking cup with a single handle. Tankards, usually made of silver, pewter, or glass, can be made of other materials, for example wood, ceramic or leather, are shaped and used similarly to beer steins. The word “tankard” originally meant any wooden vessel and later came to mean a drinking vessel. Modern metal tankards are often engraved to commemorate some occasion while glass tankards are still in everyday use.

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Flight

Beer tasting or sampling glasses range in size from 2 to 6 ounces but typically designed to hold 1/3 or 1/4 (3 or 4oz) of a pour to beer. They are popular at bars and brewpub to allow customers to sample multiple beers in one serving. These glasses are usually mini versions of regular mugs, snifters, and pilsner glasses.

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Hoegaarden

Hoegaarden glasses designed to serve Belgian white beer (witbier). This hexagonal tumbler is made from thick pressed glass, designed to keep the beer cold while its being enjoyed and also makes the set very durable. The tumbler glass is the traditional style of beer glass used to serve witbier in Belgium.

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Mason Jar

Specifically created for hard ciders and craft beers, this glass is designed to mimic the natural shape of an apple. The flared rim provides a comfortable opening which allows drinkers to savor their beverage and it’s perfectly showcased flavor profile, while the elongated, ribbed stem enhances the flavors and aroma.

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Stout

Designed by Spiegelau in partnership with Left Hand Brewing Co. and Rogue Ales, this distinctive glass was designed that the shape of the base and angle of the bowl accentuate the roasted malts and notes of rich coffee and chocolate that define stouts. The angled shelf and narrow mouth help promote head retention.

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Teku

Widely recognized as one of the finest craft beer glasses available today, the visually stunning Teku glass was designed by an Italian sensory expert and craft brewer. It features an 11 or 14 ounce tulip-like bowl, a remarkably thin lip, and an elegant long stem. The glass does a phenomenal job of concentrating aromatics and accentuating flavor profiles, so very strong beers can be overpowering when served in one. Recommended for lambics and other sours, gruit, fruit, and heather beers.

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Frosted - Don't

Four reasons why frosted glasses should not be used except for macro-brewed industrial lager (Bud, Coors, Miller, etc.). Firstly an icy glass is not generally beer-clean, ice particles often contain frozen bits of sanitizer that may smell and taste like chlorine or iodine. Second, when beer freezes, the proteins can precipitate out of the beer solution and form flakes known as “skins” in the beer that changes mouthfeel. Third, carbon dioxide can separate from the frozen liquid, reducing the perception of aroma and the fizz. Fourth, frozen beer numbs the palate.