Have you ever been at the bar or a restaurant and wondered why you get a different glass for each beer? That is because there are many factors that go into deciding the glasses for beer.
You are probably wondering what those factors are…well it really comes down to:
- Is your beer supposed to have head?
- What are you meant to notice most?
- Are there any visual aspects that need to be displayed
Sounds simple right? Well, with those few factors in mind I wanted to explain the X different glasses that you need to complement the majority of the beers you will enjoy.
Standard Pint Glass – Common, but Not Ideal
Here is the most common beer glass used in the U.S. Most breweries will have designed pint glasses for your collection (I know I have many). But honestly, this one doesn’t really enhance your beer at all.
The pint glass is a result of convenience…they stack easily and are relatively simple to clean. They do not offer any head retention or aroma concentration to maximize the quality of your beer.
They do serve there purpose, but if your really want to stay at a pint you should use…
Nonik Pint Glass – The Funny Shaped One
I have to admit, when I received my first one of these I had no clue what they were for. Honestly, I was annoyed by the “foam” remaining in the beer after I poured it.
Turns out, the bulge out at the top serves a couple purposes
- It promotes head in your beer. The shape of the rim also will concentrate the aromas to enhance your beer.
- The bulge will also keep the rim of the glass from chipping (No nick…get it) unlike a regular pint glass
Now what if you want to switch it up? You know, give off the appearance of being more “fancy”…
Pilsner Glass – Enjoy the View
Similar in shape to a normal pint glass, only taller and skinnier. These
will usually hold less beer than a pint glass, but their unique shape offers some benefits.
Beers that have unique visual characteristics will go well in a pilsner glass. These glasses will offer some head retention, but you are using these glasses if you want to show off the crispness of your pilsner or the awesomeness of your wheat beer.
What if you really want to focus on the head retention and aroma of your beer?
Goblet / Chalice – Glorious
These are probably my favorite glasses as far as looks go. Their design allows for good head retention and accentuates the aromas of your beer.
You probably don’t want to have a really large chalice as they tend to be thick and heavy. Both of these work best for your heavier beers that you want to just savor and enjoy.
Now, finally, my favorite beer and glass combo of them all…
Weizen Glass – Pure Bliss
As far as beers go, weizens are by far my favorite. They are, to me at least, refreshing without being too filling. Really, it all comes down to taking a trip to Germany. I enjoyed many a beer in these glasses and came to really appreciate it.
You will get excellent head retention…as long as you skip the fruit. Combine that with the slight neck in at the top and you will really be able to take in the smell of your beer.
Have you ever noticed these glasses with a line that usually says 750mL on it? That is by design. You fill the beer to the line and the head is supposed to fill the rest.
All that head and aroma is really awesome, but to fully appreciate your beer you want to get a good look at it. These glasses are tall which allows you to take in the entire experience of your weizen.
But there are a few more glasses that I know you have seen, but probably won’t accentuate your craft beers.
Stein – Nice to Look At
Ah, the classic stein…these are great to look at, but not very functional as a beer vessel. Display them prominently in your cave to show off.
Originally designed with a lid to prevent the spread of germs (really the bubonic plague). They won’t really offer much in the way enhancement for your beer, but, like I said earlier, they look great.
One more beer glass to help you understand your options…
The Mug – The Guzzler
Another common beer vessel is the mug. These will not offer much in the way of head retention, aromas, or eye candy. They serve one simple purpose…
To hold a lot of beer. These are great for long nights as the handle helps you keep a grip. You have seen these plenty so I couldn’t just ignore them.
Now You Decide
Not all glasses fit with each type of beer. For instance, a stout will probably not have the same effect in a weizen glass. Here is a good reference to help you decide which glass to pair with your beer.
If you have any questions or want me to add another glass, comment below or email me at email@example.com.