I’m not one who has in the past cared all that much about what sort of vessel my beer has been delivered in. Whether it’s a bottle, beer glass or plastic cup from Shakespeare’s Pizza doesn’t particularly matter much to me. It’s beer. Hand it to me and I’m going to drink it. But, can a particular type of beer glass change how you enjoy your brew?
While having a beer in a restaurant recently where this sort of thing is actually taken seriously, I thought maybe there must be something to this beer glass thing. So here is the rundown on the various beer vessels for our readers and the benefits of each.
Pint beer glass – Among the most common of beer holders, the pint glass holds an imperial pint (about 1.2 American pints) of beer. The most common pint glass you’ll see is the conical pint glass, which is an inverted cone that tapers by about an inch from top to bottom. Other styles of pint glass include the nonic pint glass and the jug glass or dimple mug.
Pilsner beer glass – The pilsner glass is typically narrower and smaller than a pint glass and holds less beer. Pilsners typically have a slender body and a broad top to maintain a solid head. If you’re a fan of lighter beers like pale lagers or, surprise, pilsners, you will frequently see your beer poured into this style of glass when you’re out on the town.
Mug beer glass – Mugs are sturdy vessels, made of much heavier glass than other beer glasses. They are made to hold a lot of beer and to aggressively toast without being broken into shards. Perfect for guys (and gals) who like to drink lots of amber, darker ales and lager beers, and the occasional witbier.
Stange beer glass – This glass is long and narrow and lives up to its German translation of “stick.” In the U.S. this is a Tom Collins glass. Great for the more delicate German brews, its shape helps introduce the smell and flavor of malts and hops. Try a rye in it.
Tulip beer glass – Named for its distinctive shape, the tulip glass helps cradle the head of the beers served in it. This glass does well with all higher alcohol content beers, Scotch Ales, and strong IPAs. This glass enhances volatiles and creates foamy heads.
Goblet beer glass– A heavy glass great for toasting and for “raising the Goblet of rock.” (School of Rock anyone?) The shape creates a CO2 nucleation point and creates a perfect head for most beers. Old English meets U.S. Great for Belgians, Tripels and Quadrupels.
Snifter beer glass – The redheaded stepchild of beer glasses, this glass provides room to swirl and agitate volatiles. Good for Barleywines, Strong Dark Ales (think brandy snifter) and Strong Belgian Ales.
Weizen beer glass – Bavarian weizen glass, the traditional beer glass. Home of the Budweiser lager. Put anything in it, even cheap crap you won’t hear us praising anytime soon. But if you’re picky try a HeffeWeisen or a DunkelWeisen for a great beer experience.
In the end, my friends, the glass will not add dramatically to your beer drinking experience. But, hey, we’re here to inform and entertain you. So next time you’re hoisting a few PBRs with your friends and you want to impress some of them and perhaps get your ass kicked in the process, break out some of these helpful tips. You might regret it.
4 Beer Bobs. Hey, you gotta have glasses. Otherwise we’d be sucking it right from the tap, and nobody wants to see that.