Alcohol types

12 types of beer glasses (and the perfect brew for each)

Photo: Leszek Czerwonka (Shutterstock)

You might think there’s nothing easier than enjoying a cold beer after a long day. I am sorry to report that you are wrong.

No, beer does not have the same mystique as wine or cocktails. Although the average beer drinker knows that there are many varieties of beer, it is a matter of taste and does not complicate the task of enjoying a beer: pour it into a glass and enjoy. Right? Most of us don’t think too much about the glass we use, but maybe we should.

There are some things most beet experts can agree on. Just about every cicerone (essentially a beer sommelier) harbors a hatred for frosted glasses, for example (Master Cicerone Neil Witte notes that the coldness of the glass produces tons of foam, which leaves the beer feeling a bit flat) . And there’s a universal aversion to your standard pint glass (according to Michael Memsic, co-founder of the Sanitas Brewing Company, the shaker glass is for trembling-like making a daiquiri—not for beer). And everyone agrees that your beer glass should be clean, like really to clean.

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Increasingly, however, there is debate about the specific glass(es) you use to drink your beer. Some beer experts, like Tim Pollard, claim that “nucleation” points (areas in the glass that promote bubbles and foam, either due to the shape of the glass or strategically placed etchings) hold the head of your healthy beer while releasing the aroma, while the shape of the glass can help trap that aroma for your nose and/or spread the beer more widely on your tongue as you drink. On the other hand, beer writer Lew Bryson thinks the idea that you need a specific glass for each type of beer is mostly marketing. And world-renowned writer Stephen Beaumont thinks you can get away with a few different glasses, like a pint glass (other than a shaker) for lighter beers and a tulip or shot glass for stronger beers. .

So maybe you don’t need having a specific glass for each beer you drink, but what if you want to be fancy (and slightly boring) while drinking? Here’s the glassware you should have on hand to go with a dozen common beer styles — and why it matters (in theory).

German pilsner: pilsner glass on foot

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

The classic German pilsner is a pale, clear beer that typically has a moderate alcohol volume (ABV).

According to Cicerone Collin Zreet, low ABV beers do well in a stemmed pilsner glass because they can be enjoyed at a higher volume, meaning you can drink more of them without getting thrown out.

Pilsner glasses also typically feature a thicker glass, which keeps the beer colder longer.

Low ABV Lagers: Cup of Mass

Photo: Tsuguliev (Shutterstock)

Photo: Tsuguliev (Shutterstock)

When you see a Mass mug, you probably think of Octoberfest or beer gardens. These thick mugs are huge, usually about the size of a liter, which makes them perfect for low ABV beers like lagers, according to cicerone Collin Zreet. The thick glass keeps the beer cold even in hot outside conditions, and because the beer inside isn’t too strong (the Cicerone certification program advises that only beers under 6% ABV should appear in a mass) by drinking a full liter at a time. won’t let you down.

Wheat beer: Weizen glass vase

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

According to advanced cicerone Brandon Plyler, the weizen vase glass is perfect for high-carbon beers because its tall design limits the surface area of ​​the beer, trapping bubbles.

And Michael Memsic notes that the slight curvature at the top of the wiezen vase supports more foam, which releases more aroma from the beer, enhancing its flavor.

Kölsch: Strange Glass

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Master Cicerone Neil Witte notes that the stange glass is used primarily for one type of beer: German kölsch. A sort or hybrid ale-lager, the main characteristic of kölsch is its drinkability; cicerone Mandy Naglich notes that traditionally the odd glasses are small and served several at a time, and you can usually enjoy a few without feeling over-burdened.

The small size doubles as the bubbly of the beer – your beer is unlikely to be hot or flat by the time you drain this small glass. And like other taller, thinner glasses, the stange helps hold the beer head in place.

Any lager: Willi Becher glass

Photo: r.classen (Shutterstock)

Photo: r.classen (Shutterstock)

While many people think the Willi Becher glass (named after its inventor) is a glass specifically designed for German-style lagers, Cicerone David Nilsen says it’s ideal for just about any lager. or low-concentration ale because “the slightly inward-curving rim traps aroma and helps head retention, and the relatively narrow diameter of the glass shows off the brilliant clarity of a good lager.”

High alcohol beers (stouts, barleywines, eisbocks): Snifter

Photo: Pete Broyles (Shutterstock)

Photo: Pete Broyles (Shutterstock)

Small glasses make a person fancy, but they also serve a practical purpose when drinking beer. Cicerone Collin Zreet notes that shot glasses are typically smaller and made of thinner glass than, say, a pilsner glass, making them ideal for high ABV beers like stouts.

Their small size also prevents you from fainting after drinking a beer, and the warming action of your hand will help the beer open more. According to master cicerone Neil Witte, you should totally take advantage of the stem of a small glass – it allows you to warm your beer up to your ideal temperature, then use the rod to keep it longer.

Witbiers, lambics, Flanders Red: French jelly glass

Photo: freeskyline (Shutterstock)

Photo: freeskyline (Shutterstock)

Beer sommelier Natalya Watson notes that Belgian witbiers should be served in French jelly glasses (sometimes called Hoegaarden glass, after a beer commonly served in them). The Cicerone Certification Program adds that this type of glass is suitable for lambic-style beers and sour beers like Flanders Red. The inward taper of this glass supposedly helps retain the aroma of the beer.

Seasons: Tulip Glass

Photo: Kirill Z (Shutterstock)

Photo: Kirill Z (Shutterstock)

According to the Cicerone certification program, a tulip-style glass is ideal for most Belgian beer styles, especially the saison. Low ABV with high carbonation, brewer Michael Memsic says the shape of this glass retains the flavor and aroma of the beer until you’re ready to drink it. (The slight lip at the top of the glass helps with this part.) Cicerone Collin Zreet also notes that the thinner glass of a tulip – much like a shot glass – allows the beer to be warmed by your hands, in the opening and making the soaking experience tastier.

Alès Abbey: Goblet

Photo: Peter Kim (Shutterstock)

Photo: Peter Kim (Shutterstock)

Abbey beers tend to be quite high (some go as high as 14%), which is why cicerone Collin Zreet recommends you drink them from a goblet-style glass. They’re smaller, and the bowl-like shape supposedly gives you access to the full range of aromas and flavors with every sip. No, seriously: The ability to take “big sips” is why you use a tumbler with heavy, ABV-rich beers, according to beer expert Bruce Glassman.

Irish Stout: Tulip Pint Glass

Photo: W.Santos (Shutterstock)

Photo: W.Santos (Shutterstock)

You recognize the tulip pint from every glass of Guinness you’ve ever had. Cicerone Christopher Barnes notes that the tulip pint top works better than a pint shaker for head retention (VinePair’s Tim McKirdy agrees, noting that “the inward curvature toward the lip of this glass style strengthens the beers head and helps deliver the ideal amount of thick, creamy head.”) The Cicerone Certification Program swears that you can also use the Tulip Pint with any British or Irish style beer .

Irish Ale: Nonic pint glass

Photo: Kirill Z (Shutterstock)

Photo: Kirill Z (Shutterstock)

With thick glass to hold up in the cold, the Nonic stands out with the “bump out” of about two-thirds the height. Some people, like beer writer William Bostwick, point out that the glass was designed to prevent “nicks” or splinters in the glass, but BevSpot’s Brie Shelley points out that it also allows foam to develop into a more “substantial”. head, which concentrates the aromas of the beer. This makes it ideal for a low to moderate ABV beer.

British beer: pub mug

Photo: Dietmar Rauscher (Shutterstock)

Photo: Dietmar Rauscher (Shutterstock)

The classic pub mug looks twee, but according to brewer Michael Memsic, that cuteness has a purpose: it’s ideal for mild Irish or English ales, or even light European lagers, because it doesn’t have much headiness. retention in carbonation and aroma. Cicerone Collin Zreet adds that the thick glass of the pub mug also helps keep the beer served better at low cold temperatures. The handle also helps with this as it keeps your hot hands away from the beer.

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