Guides and Facts

Best Glass To Use When Drinking Certain Beers

Best Glass To Use When Drinking Certain Beers
Originally Posted on Jul 08, 2016
Back when The Stereophonics were in their prime, they sang that “the beer doesn’t taste the same without the name printed on my glass”.  We all know what they mean – sometimes your beer tastes better when it’s in the right glass.
Many in the pub will scoff and tell you to just get it supped, but it does taste different. The way to get the best from your beer is to put it in the glass it belongs in. Beer has been the relaxing drink of choice for thousands of years, in its different forms, so the different glass shapes didn’t occur by accident.
Here’s a quick and handy guide to the most common beer glasses you see in the bars and pubs around the country today:-
Type: American Pint Glass

Appearance: A real work horse. Those thick glassed, straight edge, cone shaped glasses originate from early-mid 20th century America. They’re easily stackable and storable, whilst being extra hard wearing. Originally making them ideal for publicans catering for thirsty industrious Americans, in the UK they now tend to be favoured by busy, high-customer-turnover bars. They allow easy pouring of thirst quenching lagers.
Best Suited For: American ales and light lagers.
Why: This only aims to please on two counts; last a long time (pleasing the landlord) and hold liquid (pleasing a thirsty punter). This makes it suited to drinks which don’t need either great amounts of love and care, or a connoisseur’s palate.
Type: British Pint Glass/English Pint Glass

Appearance: A glass that your Granddad would have supped his mild from. The kind of glass you get in every social club up and down the land. It brings all the same features as the American pint glass, but includes a lip around 2 inches from the lip for ease of stacking and handling when wet. This is often considered a true all-rounder.
Best Suited For: Various cask ales, keg bitters, IPAs and stouts. Also suitable for any type of smooth drink (i.e. nothing that leaves any deposits).
Why: The straight edge leaves no ability to catch anything you might find in wheat or fruit beers and the wide open shape means you’d have to drink pretty relentlessly to stop a nice lager or pilsner going flat quicker than you can say, “same again!”.
Type: Tulip Pint Glass/Irish Pint Glass (a.k.a. “a lager glass”)

Appearance: Similar to the British/English pint glass but with a narrow base and curved mid-section which opens up to a wide rim. The most common glass you will find on the shelves of pub bars up and down the UK.
Best Suited For: Of course it suits lagers, but also real ales and stouts are great in these. Many drinkers prefer blondes and other lighter ales out of these compared to the British pint glass.
Why: The wide rim allows the intake of the aroma whilst sipping and the curvature also awakens the drink when tipped to the mouth.
Type: Weizen Beer Glass

Appearance: To us, an exaggerated tulip pint glass, in height, tapering and curvature. It looks as if a tulip glass has been stretched and also pinched a little harder in the middle.
Best Suited For: Well, wheat beer, but also good for white ales and for larger servings of pilsners (though this may be habitual rather than any physical reason).
Why: The narrow pinch an inch or so up from the base works to catch any solid sediment that might be present and the extra height allows room for thick, fluffy heads. This doesn’t just look tasty but it also helps trap flavours.
Type: Willybecher/Tumbler Glass

Appearance: The Willybecher (stop giggling) Glass is the most common glass in Germany. Their equivalent to the tulip glass, you could say. It has a thick bottom for keeping lager cool and is very durable.
Best Suited For: German beers, bocks and pilsners.
Why: The relatively thin and slightly narrowed lip ensures that taste and aroma take top priority when drinking. The shape also lends itself brilliantly to carrying, when wandering around a beer festival.
Type: Pilsner Glass

Appearance: A long stem, widening towards the top, with a flat, wide base piece for stability.
Best Suited For: pilsners and light lagers.
Why: The smaller size, with a shape similar to that of a flute, assist this glass in quicker drinking, so it’s ideal for cold drinks enjoyed in warm climates. The ease with which the liquid escapes the glass means it isn’t suited to heavy bodied drinks, but does make cold, light drinks all the more enjoyable.
Type: Snifter Beer Glass

Appearance: Pretty much a brandy glass. The kind of glass you can imagine a wealthy landowner sitting by the log fire with, swishing a nice cognac slowly around, contemplating his investments, but for beer.
Best Suited For: Strong ales, lagers and stouts, dark bocks and some deep fruit beers.
Why: As the name implies, this glass is built for capturing the pungent aromas. If half the taste is in the smell, make sure you’re using one of these.
Type: Flute Glass

Appearance: Like a champagne flute. Sometimes features a stronger stem and base.
Best Suited For: Fruit beers, biere de champagne, fizzy pilsners and lagers.
Why: For the same reasons as champagne; to reduce the amount of carbonation lost through bubbles and for aesthetic appear. The shape also lends itself to enjoying the aroma properly when drinking, important for fruit beers and biere de champagne.
Type: Chalice or Goblet

Appearance: Like a small trophy or altar wine cup, they have a wide bowl shape atop a medium sized stem and flat circular base.
Best Suited For: John Snow, Belgian beers and anything else with a high ABV.
Why: The shape lends itself to measured drinking. Also, depending on the drink contained within, the stem and bowl design allows either avoidance or deliberate warming of the beer with the hand whilst holding.
Beers of Europe
You can find our massive array of glassware on our website or in store. No matter which type you are after, there is certainly a beer to match. Each style is designed elegantly to compliment and extract total satisfaction from your beverage. We would like to thank Don Valley Engineering for their content and remember that a little consideration on the shape can make a big difference on the taste.
This post was produced by Don Valley Engineering. They are the leading UK provider of Process Plant and Support to the Malting Industry. They’re the guys, behind the guys, who are behind your favourite beers