All Purpose Glasses
For the beginning of the list, we’re starting off with one of the most popular and hearty choices of glassware, the beer mug. In Germany, they are known as steins, whereas in Great Britain, they are known as tankards. These have been made of ceramic, wood and even leather historically, but these are now most often found made of glass. In Germany, back in the 1300’s when the Black Plague was rampant, there was a law enacted that all beverages must be covered, which is why we sometimes see the traditional German stein fitted with a metal flip lid. The British tankard was often found with a glass bottom in the late 1800’s, where hearsay states that it was a way to see enemies coming or to avoid being recruited by the British army by way of finding a shilling in the bottom of your beer once you’ve drank it to the bottom. Nonetheless, the reason this particular glass is so fancied is that it is made very sturdy and will not break as easily as the pilsner when washing. The thick glass also serves well for insulation for keeping your beer brisk. Also, most importantly, it fits quite a good amount of beer. This is a great choice for almost everything, with the exception of barleywine, stouts, pale ales and saisons.
The reason this has become the catch-all for serving beer is because it’s a versatile glass that serves practically everything else. For anyone who’s a bartender, this is often served as the bottom half of a shaker to serve up a martini. It’s slightly angled shape makes it easy for storage. As for why it’s good for beer, technically, it is not. It doesn’t do much scientifically to improve the experience of drinking, where it doesn’t help with aerating the beer or for inducing the aromas of a good brew. It also isn’t as thick as a mug, which can warm up your beer faster. For all intents and purposes though, we’ll say it serves any type of beer.
TeKu glasses have become the trendier choice of drinking beer with a sophisticated look. By the powers vested in Teo and Kuaska, two influential experts in beer in Italy, they created the unique shape that we now know as their the merging of their two names “TeKu.” It’s distinct build gives a step to avoid from transferring heat to the beer, an expanded base to allow for aerating the beer upon pouring and then sizable mouth to welcome the aromas with a smell of your brew. Although this is an all-purpose glass, many agree that it is best used for beers with strong flavor profiles, such as sours or IPAs.
Beer Style Glasses
Noticeably different from the American pint glass, the imperial pint glass has a curved, wider mouth. The bottom becomes more narrow to allow for less exposure to the beer to minimize warming it up. This glass is ideal for stouts and Irish ales.
The nonic pint has a more bubbled curved section about an inch before the edge ends, which helps with enhancing the grip when you drink your glass and helps with easy stacking. This glass is more ideal for English lagers and ales.
For clearer, aromatic beers that are best with a solid head and have distinctive carbonation, the pilsner flute will do best. It is known by being slender and slightly angled. Grab this glass for a pilsner, lager and kölsch.
Often found in Belgium, goblets or chalices are often designed with a ridged bottom interior to allow for continuous carbonation to be formed. They are often ornate with gold trim around the edge for a bit of showmanship when you drink your beer. This glass is best for Belgian style beers, Berliner Weisse, stouts and maltier, high-ABV beers.
Although it looks quite similar to the pilsner flute, there is about an extra .5L of space in the top head to allow for the foamier head that often comes with a delicious hefeweizen. The word translates to wheat glass, which makes this the obvious choice for wheat beers.
This glass was made so that you can fully enjoy twirling the beer to continuously emit the aromas of your beer. The thistle glass is from Scotland, made specifically for a Scottish ale and named after it’s similar shape to the thistle plant. Have this with a Belgian ale, barleywine, stronger IPAs and Scottish beers.
Two famous American brewers, Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head) and Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada) brewed their brilliances and created the ideal glass to enjoy the complexities of an IPA. The glass was made with Grossman’s philosophy of being “hop-forward” in mind, making sure that the top of the glass is shaped to allow for the foam remain frothy and to allow for all the aromas and flavors to be enjoyed. Enjoy the glass that is specifically designed for the IPA.
Created in Germany, this tall and slender straight flute was made to enjoy a kölsch. The word literally translates to “rod” in German.
Other Notable Beer Glass Styles
The boot plays homage to the German military, where new recruits were initiated by drinking an entire boot (of another soldier, which plays into the hazing portion) of beer. Now, this is just more of a challenge since these boots are often quite monstrous in size. The glass is not meant for any particular beer, just more for those that want to pack a lot of beer in a drink.
Another glass that is not particularly intended for any type of beer, but rather ideal for cognac, the size of the mouth makes it a rather perfect glass for taking in the aroma of your beer of choice.