The Right Glass for the Right Beer
By Matt Kurnick & Lee Davis
This past weekend while you enjoyed your favorite professional football team’s opening game, odds are you might have also enjoyed a delicious, cold, frothy beer.
No matter where you watched and drank from, whether it be home, your favorite sports bar, a tailgate party, or the wedding you couldn’t get out of, and no matter what kind of beer you drank – ales, pilsners, stouts, lagers, IPAs or some other brew, one thing is for sure. The right beer glass can make any beer taste that much better.
Below is a comprehensive review of available beer glass patterns, excluding the universal Red Solo® cup.
Beer Boot – From German tradition, it’s a large boot shaped glass that holds multiple servings of beer. Difficult to drink from without spilling, it is a popular novelty glass for festivals and events.
Beer Chalice – Of Belgian design, very thick walled glass with a large round bowl atop a short stem and hefty foot. Often dimpled. Great for Big Belgium Ales, German Bocks and Imperial Stouts.
Beer Flute – Borrowing from the design of the Champagne Flute, with a larger sized portion, these tall narrow stemmed glasses are designed to maintain and showcase the effervescence of beer and add a touch of style to beer service in general.
Beer Goblet – Same as a Beer Chalice, only not as heavy and thick. Great for Belgium Ales, German Bocks and Imperial Stouts.
Beer Mugs – Heavy, sturdy and thick walled vessel with a large handle. Sometimes dimpled. Sides are typically straight, or tapered slightly inward toward the opening. Great for pouring and toasting, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Great all purpose glass, especially for draft beers.
Nonic – English in design, it is similar to a Pint Glass with a curved or flared lip close to the top of the glass. The flare helps when holding the glass and allows it to be stacked easily. Great for Lagers, Ales and Stouts.
Pilsner – The classic Pilsner Glass has a hefty base, with little or no stem, and tall, straight, tapered sides rising to the opening. There are many variations, including some with curved sides and narrower openings (see Weizen Glass). It was designed for the Pilsner, but is great for Lagers and any lighter beer.
Pint – Coming in many different styles, the iconic Pint Glass is the Guinness Irish Pint Glass, featuring thick glass, and sides that taper slightly out toward the opening at the top. They traditionally hold one imperial pint (1.2 U.S. pints). A great all purpose glass, it is especially popular for Stout, Black & Tans, and Bitters.
Pokal – Similar to a Pilsner glass, a slightly bulged bottom atop a one inch stem with nearly straight sides that rise to a narrower mouth. A great all purpose glass, it is best used for Pilsners and Golden Ales.
Porter Glass – Although there appears to be much disagreement, most major U.S. manufacturers offer a Porter/Stout Glass that is tall and sturdy, with a short wide stem, out of which gently curving sides rise to create an inverted teardrop shape with a slightly smaller opening. Great for Stouts, Porters, Brown Ales and Craft Beers.
Schooner – Similar to a Chalice with a slightly rounder bowl. Great for Wheat Beer.
Seidel – A German Mug, usually dimpled, with curved sides.
Stange – A small glass, typically 6 to 8 oz., with an opening roughly the same size as the base. The sides may have a slight hour-glass curve. Most commonly used for tasting obscure German beers such as Alt, Kolsch and Gose.
Steins – A beer mug made of ceramic, pewter or silver.
Stout Glass – Most major U.S. manufacturers offer a Porter/Stout Glass that is tall and sturdy, with a short wide stem, out of which gently curving sides rise to create an inverted teardrop shape with a slightly smaller opening. Great for Stouts, Porters, Brown Ales and Craft Beers.
Tankards – A Stein with a top, hinged to the handle, that can be flipped open with the thumb.
Taster – Any one of a variety of beer glasses between 4 and 6 oz. The smaller portion is perfect for tasting a variety of different beers in one sitting.
Tulip Beer Goblet – The Tulip Beer Goblet has a bulbous bottom on a short stem with a sturdy foot. Bulged out in the middle, the sides flare near the top to create a lip. They are perfect for serving Scottish and Belgium Ales as well as other aromatic beer.
Tulip Beer Glass – The Tulip Beer Glass or Tulip Pub Glass has no stem. With a flat bottom, the sides curve upward toward a bulged middle and back in toward a narrower opening.
Weizen Glass – Or Wheat Beer Glass, has a hefty base, little or no stem, and tall, gently curving sides that rise to a wider bulge near the top and then curve back in to a narrower opening. It is often called a Pilsner Glass, even though technically, the Pilsner Glass should have straight tapered, rather than curved, sides.
Yard – A novelty glass, the Yard Beer Glass is narrow and approximately a yard tall with a flared lip and with a bulb at the bottom making it nearly impossible to drink without spilling. It typically holds about 1.5 liters of beer and is popular at festivals and special events. It is often served in a wooden support or stand.