Guide to Glasses
Matching the proper glass to the correct beer is absolutely essential in exacting the full amount of enjoyment out of your beer. Below, we’ve put together a guide to glasses, describing the design, why it’s ideal, and what styles go best with it.
Tall and slender, rounded out into a bulge at the top.
A nice thick head really increases the enjoyment of a wheat beer, holding in all those great smells to complement their light, summery taste. Plus, it’s a great way to show off the brew’s coloring.
Weizen, Heffeweizen, Witbier, Weizenbock, Goze, etc.
Tall glass, slender, tapering at the bottom, sometimes with a stem.
The height of the glass allows the beer to show off its color and carbonation. A nice head can be built at the wider top opening, which will trap the delicious aroma of the beer.
Pilsner, Lager, Bock, Dopplebock, Hellesbock, etc.
Basically cylindrical, wider at the mouth than the bottom, with a slight bulge just below the rim (for ease in stacking). One of the most commonly seen beer glasses, with several European variations.
Wide mouth allows proper amount of head to form. Glasses are also cheap (as opposed to more elaborate styles) and easy to store.
Lager, Ale, IPA, Stout, Porter, Beer Cocktail, etc.
Round and squat, thick sides, with a handle.
The handle allows one to hold the beer without warming it. Allows a large quantity of beer, with plenty of room for head. Sturdy enough for many rounds of hearty clinks and cheers.
Ale, Lager, IPA, Porter, Dopplebock, Stout, Witbier, etc.
Elegant and tall, resembling a champagne glass with a slightly shorter stem
Presentation- allowing the colors of the beer to really shine, which is particularly effective with the bright lambic fruit beers. Also, this design aids carbonation.
Lambic, Faro, Maibock, Hellesbock, Lager, Weizenbock, etc.
Shaped much like its namesake flower, the tulip glass has a bulbous body, supported by a stem, that narrows and then widens at the top.
The stem allows drinkers to hold the beer without warming it, while the mouth design promotes a nice hefty head, trapping delicious flavor within the beer, and holding its aromas close.
Ale, Pale Ale, Strong Ale, IPA, Lambic, Gueuze, etc.
Large body, all the way to the top, supported by a thick stem. Bottom walls of glass are thick, sometimes becoming thinner near the mouth.
Some goblets appear as works of art, majestic settings for any table. Scores in the bottom of the glass allow continual carbonation, and often support up to two full inches of head.
Belgian IPA, Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, etc.
The bottom bulges into a bowl shape, tapering into a narrow mouth, just as traditional cognac and brandy glasses.
The main idea here is head and aroma retention. Meant for refined beers with a strong bouquet aroma.
Barleywine, Strong Ale, Pale Ale, IPA, Eisbock, Stout, Tripel, Quadrupel, etc.
Some glasses just stand out more than others, and this is certainly one of them. The yard glass is named for its height- one yard (three feet, or just under one meter). Bulging out into a bowl at the bottom, the yard glass shoots upward in a narrow cylinder, with a slightly widened mouth. As the bottom is round, it cannot stand upright on its own, and is usually hung from the wall.
The yard glass is mostly used for pub contests, in which friends compete to see who can drink the most beer the quickest. Legend has it this contest was developed by stagecoach drivers, who drank much and bragged more. The design, makes it incredibly likely the drinker will spill on him or herself, as an air pocket forms in the bottom. The Belgian beer Kwak is similar in design, although much shorter, and comes with a wooden stand to keep it from tipping over, due to its bulbous bottom.
Ale, Pilsner, etc.