The Ultimate Guide to Beer Glass Types

There was a time when beer was ordered at a bar, it was served in a pint glass  (or maybe you know Cliff and Norm sloshing down some beers in small mugs at Cheers). Until recently, the vessel for beer hasn’t been much to think about for bartenders and drinkers alike, but that’s changing. Now with a wide range of beer styles at pretty much every bar and restaurant across the country, more establishments are carrying a variety of glasses to appropriately match the liquid inside.

Those pint glasses we’re all familiar with, well, they don’t do much to accentuate a beer’s character. Many classic styles of beers from Europe have their own serving vessel. Really, the number of potential options is far too many to list, but we’ll take you through a quick guide for some of the best glasses for beer.

Pint Glasses

So, there are actually quite a few types of pint glasses. The most common pint is the shaker pint, and while it holds 16 ounces, it’s not the greatest for beer. Of course, it gets the job done, but it was originally used to help shake cocktails) — hence the name — and at some point, somebody started serving beer in them.

The nonic pint is a touch better for a large array of ales served up in 16-ounce portions and helps encourage a nice head, while the imperial pint will give 20 ounces.

A tulip pint is great for dry stouts, you’ve probably seen one with a frothy Guinness.

Snifters

brandy snifter beer glass stout

Snifters are ideal for big boozy beers like barrel-aged stouts and barleywines as the globular shape helps to concentrate the delicious aromas, while the smaller size helps moderate the amount per serving.

Tulip Glasses

tulip pint beer glass

Like snifters, tulip glasses have a tighter opening to help concentrate the head and with a taller lip helps support a decent head. Tulips are an ideal match for double IPAs, saisons, wild and sour ales, and plenty of tasting Belgian ales.

Pilsner Glass

pilsner beer glass

Before the pint glass, there was the pilsner glass. They can be found in pretty much any mid-20th-century beer ad serving up the light macro lagers. There’s a reason, as they are perfect for lighter beers to show off the color and help hold a thick head.

Weissbier Glass

Weissbier Glass wheat beer nuts

Another one of those specifically made glasses, the weizenvase is great for the aromatic German beers as the tall shape with a thin midsection and round top help the sniffer grab a good amount of the beer’s banana and clove aromatics.

Spiegelau Craft Glasses

Spiegelau Craft IPA Beer Glass

Spiegelau is a glass manufacturer that’s taken to creating glassware that enhances the many emerging types of American craft beers. For example, they’ve partnered with Bell’s Brewery, makers of Oberon, to produce a special wheat beer glass. The company then collaborated with Left Hand Brewing and Rogue Ales and Spirits to conjure up a special stout glass. Then for the mighty IPA, Spiegelau summoned Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada to draw up a glass to best accentuate the IPA’s aromas.

Beer Mug

beer glass german

Beer mugs (and steins) are a quintessential beer vessel, even if they might not be ideal for the product. They’re a familiar sight for non-beer drinkers based on their once common presence in bars and ubiquity with Oktoberfest. Now many breweries offer a mug club for regulars at the bar.Beer mugs come in a great range of sizes, but many mug clubs come in around 20 ounces and sometimes carry a discount!

Teku Glass

beer teku glass draft pour

Beer drinkers have fallen in love with this gorgeous stemmed glass. The angular, modern design is also crafted to best serve aromatic and flavorful beers, and while that includes most craft beers, certainly some beers do better than others in a Teku. With a shape resembling a wine glass, aromas are contained and funneled toward the nose, while the stem keeps warm hands off the liquid.

Can-Shaped Glass

can shaped glass libbey

Libbey is a glassware manufacturer with a giant line of beer glasses coming in all shapes and sizes, including many of the ones already mentioned in the list today. The company also has a specialty “craft beer glass,” a pint-sized glass with shapes similar to other specially-designed glasses to help capture the nuances of beers, especially aroma.

Taster Glass

beer taster glass flight

With thousands upon thousands of beers coming out of taps across the globe, it’s impossible to taste them all. With a taster glass, however, that task becomes a tad easier. These little glasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, often approximately 4 ounces. Depending on the brewery, they can come in a flight of maybe four or five glasses, to allow for a greater sampling of beers. Of course, sometimes it’s a pint you want. These are also likely the vessel of choice for beer festivals.

Sam Adams Lager Glass

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

There’s a good chance this specially-designed lager glass is a familiar sight if you’ve spent time in an airport bar or chain restaurant. Sam Adams founder Jim Koch wanted a special glass for his Boston Lager and helped design one to best accentuate his beer. The bottom of the glass is etched to keep the aroma bubbling, while a thin wall maintains temperatures better. Finally, the tapered body and rounded top help contain and release flavors at the right times.

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