Do you choose a beer glass depending on the shape of your nose? Perhaps it’s the nose – aroma – of the beer that is enhanced by a certain glass? Does beer glass shape actually matter when it comes to the flavor of your beer or is it purely aesthetic? Well, beer connoisseurs believe it does matter and that aesthetics play a part too. The correct glass will help a beer reach its full potential. A visually appealing beer will have its drinker at first glance. Here are some well-known types of beer glasses that are said to enhance the drinking experience of certain beers.
Different types of beer glasses
The American pint glass or Shaker glass – primarily used for shaking cocktails – is probably the most popular beer glass in the United States today. It is common to serve American ales, lager beers, IPAs, stouts and porters in this glass. The 16-ounce is made from thick glass, which maintains the cold temperature of the beer. The wider brim allows a full-bodied aroma.
The English style pint glass has a slight bulge about 2 inches from the top of the glass. This bulge adds a second layer of flavor and aroma as the beer passes over it. Also referred to as a “Nonic”, this pint glass is very similar to the American one. This 20-ounce glass is preferred for drinking English ales and lagers. High-ABV type beers shouldn’t be served in it.
Beer Mugs and Steins
These types of beer glasses are robust and can hold a lot of beer. The thick glass sides of the mug insulate the beer, keeping it cool. The handle keeps your hand from warming the beer. Mugs come in an assortment of shapes and sizes. There are mugs with dimples too. Some people hold the opinion that these dimples help a drinker appreciate the color and clarity of the beer. Appropriate beer styles for a beer mug are all types of American, English, German, and Irish beers. Steins are mugs with lids. There is a lever, for the thumb, which lifts the lid on a hinge. Traditionally steins were made from a large variety of materials: pewter, porcelain, silver, stoneware, and wood. Nowadays, these types of beer glasses are still commonly used but are mostly considered ornamental or souvenirs.
This tall, skinny and slightly tapered beer glass is perfect for serving lighter beers like pilsners. No surprise there! These types of beer glasses also complement American lagers, hefeweizens and blonde ales. Pilsners usually hold less than a pint glass. The wider top of the glass helps retain the foam head of the beer, bringing out the aroma and true flavor profile of the beer.
Tulip (Belgian Glass) and thistle glasses
The Tulip glass has a bulbous and flared lip. The bowl of the glass retains the aroma. It captures the head and brings out the flavor and strong aromatics of Belgian ales and other malty, hoppy beers. The short stem makes it easy to swirl. A Thistle Glass is a modified version of the Tulip glass. Scotch ale and wee heavy are best served in these types of beer glasses (See also: Microbrewery ).
TGoblets and Chalices
A goblet’s wide mouth maintains the beer’s head and promotes big, hearty sips. Goblets have a long thick stem with a bowl sitting on the top. A chalice is the same shape but has thicker bowl walls. These types of beer glasses are perfect for darker, heavier beers, Belgian strong dark ale, Belgian IPAs and German bocks.
Stange (German for “pole”) Glasses
Delicate beers, like bocks, lambics, Kölsch, Czech pilsners and rye beers are best served in these tall and slender glasses. The shape of the glass preserves carbonation and enhances soft hop and malt aromas.
Although it may look like a pilsner, the Weizen – also known as a wheat beer glass – has slightly thinner walls than the pilsner. It has a large mouth for a beer with a big head. These types of beer glasses are made for hefeweizens and all wheat beers. The narrow bottom traps the sediment found in the wheat or Weizen beers.
Often a microbrewery will create specific glassware in limited quantities. Pairing the right glass with the right beer will enhance your drinking experience. Beer experts concur that different types of beer glasses will help you enjoy the full experience of the beer. The aroma, color and flavor of a beer change depending on the beer glass.