A Guide to Beer Glasses

Beer drinkers are an extraordinary group of people who love beer. They are as knowledgeable about the styles of beer like wine drinkers are about different types of wine. There is a form of tasting beer and a glass for every style of beer.

The following list of glassware is a quick guide for the novice who is just learning the ABCs of beer appreciation. First, a few pointers on beer head. The foam at the top of the glass captures the aroma, which includes the type of hops used. It also captures the byproducts of yeast fermentation (spices and other flavor additions). The formal name of the beer head is “volatiles”. When attending a beer tasting.party, this will be the term used interchangeably with “head”.

The following glassware are the basics for beer style recognition.

1. The flute glass is for the “champagne” of beers. It keeps the carbonation of the beer so that when you hold it up to the light, you can see the sparkling color. The volatile releases quickly and you can smell the aroma. The flute holds iambic beers (tart, fruity beers) and faro iambic (sweet dessert beers). These are beers that are light and fruity.

2. The goblet has a thick stem and made to hold a constant head. It is wide-mouthed for the drinker for hearty sips. The beers are strong, dark ales.

3. Mug (or Stein – has a lid) is easy to drink from and holds a lot of beer. The mug uses durable glass that can be clinked together during a toast. A mug holds ales. An interesting fact about the stein is that the lid on top was used during the European Black Plague. It was to keep dead flies from falling into the stein.

4. Pilsner glassware is similar in appearance to the flute. The difference is that it does not have a stem. It is tapered to accommodate 12 ounces of beer. It shows the color and the wider mouth will provide a full beer head. This is the glass used for pale lagers and Pilsners.

5. Snifter is for strong ales. It allows the drinker to swirl the ales and allows the volatile to develop for the conniseur’s pleasure.

6. Weizenbier (Wheat beer glass) It has thin walls. It showcases the beer color and the beer head. The glass is for wheat beers, which include banana and phenol (extremely sweet and tarrish) aromas. 

7. Tulip glass is stemmed. It is the glass for Scotch ales. It captures and enhances the volatile and yet maintains a frothy head.

8. The pint glass is a jack of all trades and can be used for most beers. Its size is how it is named. A 20-oz. is Nonic. It has a ridge about one inch down from the lip. 

With the basic glassware, anyone can serve beer with confidence.