Regardless of whether or not the type of glassware you choose for drinking makes a difference in taste, selecting your vessel can be as entertaining as what you pour into it.
It has been claimed (and disputed) that the choice of beer glassware can largely affect the flavor, among other qualities, of the beer. In any case, let’s take a look at the vast variety of beer drinking glasses available, each chosen for its own ability to highlight the smell, taste and appearance of beer.
The dimpled pint mug is has its roots in British pubs as the traditional standard drinking vessel. The thick, patterned glass emphasizes the colors and appearance of beers, and is popular for drinking ales. Its unique pattern is also supposed to stop the beer from warming too quickly.
Tapering slowly outward toward the top of the glass, the standard 16-ounce American pint glass is great for drinking mild and brown ales, porters and stouts. The nonic pint glass has a bulbous curve near the top of the glass to protect against chipping when it is washed, or if it tips over. The Imperial pint glass holds 20 ounces of beer, but is not commonly seen in the United States.
Goblets and Chalices
Goblets and chalices are typically used for aromatic beers that you tend to sip slowly, like a Berliner Weisse, and some Trappist and Abbey Aales.
Long, lean and perfect for lighter lagers, The Pilsner glass is usually thin, tall and footed, and holds 10-12 ounces of liquid.
Weizen or Wheat Glass
Originating in Germany, this vessel encourages the aromatic qualities of heavily carbonated wheat beers. The tall, wide-rimmed characteristics of the Weizen glass allows room for towering heads, with a capacity typically exceeding 18 ounces.
With its rounded bottom and large surface area, a thick-walled Snifter glass is typically used for tasting brandy, as it is designed to warm the drink while you hold it in your hand. It can also be used to drink high-alcohol, aromatic rich Barleywines, Old Ales and Imperial Stouts.
Tulip and Thistle Glass
Getting its name from the shape of the tulip flower which it resembles, the tulip glass is designed for capturing and emphasizing the aromas of strong beers, like Belgian-style Abbey Ales and IPAs.
This 19-ounce, bulbous beer glass was designed by a German glassmaker specifically for hoppy IPAs.
Does your favorite drinking glass really make beer taste better? Test the different types of beer glasses to find out for yourself; after all, experience is the best teacher.