Beer glassware guide: beer glasses and why
What’s the big about serving a beer in a chalice vs. a goblet? Does it really matter? Heck yes. Here’s why.
June 04, 2021
Quick quiz: do beer glass types matter?
Good job! And you’re right, beer glasses do matter. In this article, we’re going to cover why different types of beer glasses exist at all — whether it’s to enhance the aroma of the beer, to fit more liquid in a single glass, to retain a good head, or to serve some other purpose.
Below we’ll cover some common beer glassware and explain how it works and what to drink out of it.
The American pint glass
The standard glass at every glorious dive bar in the US – the American pint glass – is exactly what it appears to be: a cheap, easy-to-clean, easy-to-stack vessel for delicious beers. Though it’s a bit vanilla in the world of beer glasses, it does get the job done.
If you’re only going to have one type of beer glassware in your home, you could consider this as a classic go-to. It doesn’t add much to any beer’s taste or delivery, but it sure doesn’t hurt it either.
The imperial pint glass
The iconic single rib on the upper half of the imperial pint glass serves a unique function: it gives the glass more volume. This gentle protrusion brings the imperial pint up to a full 20 ounces. And, to aid the captain, there’s also a gentle lip that makes drinking easier.
The tulip glass (Belgian glass)
The tulip glass’s stout body and flared lip are perfect for enhancing stronger aromas and, consequently, flavors. It’s got a short stem that promotes easier swirling and fits comfortably between your fingers.
Use a tulip glass for hoppier, maltier beers like Belgian ales and sour/wild ales.
The pilsner glass
With a distinctive height and elegance to it, the pilsner glass features a round base with a tall and slender taper that goes outward towards the top, holding around 12 oz. The shape is multifaceted — giving you a nice view of the beauty within, retaining a good head, and allowing you to put your nose right where the action is whenever you take a sip.
Use this glass for Imperial pilsner as well as certain lagers and blond ales.
The IPA glass
Perhaps the most enigmatic of beer glasses, the IPA glass serves a wonderful purpose. Its lower ridges aerate and agitate the beer every time you tip the glass, which fills your nose with a delightful hoppy aroma. Those aromas pass into the larger chamber and again get concentrated by the tapered rim, delivering a wonderful tasting experience.
Unsurprisingly, the perfect drink for the IPA glass is an IPA.
The stout glass
The stout glass is a must-have for lovers of beer’s darker pleasures. The skinny, tapered base and bowl angle act much like an IPA glass but with less aeration, wafting up all of the cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt flavors. A stout glass is also perfect for retaining a good head.
No surprises here either — the stout glass was made for stouts.
The beer mug
A beer mug is a broad term since these mugs are limited only by the imagination of the manufacturer. The one defining feature is the glorious side handle that keeps your hand from warming up the beer. Beer mugs are also usually quite thick, meaning they’ll hold a beer’s temperature for a long time. They’re excellent when chilled.
You can drink most beers out of a beer mug; anything from the USA, Germany, the UK, for example. Along with the American pint glass, it’s a great all-around choice if you only want limited beer glassware in your cabinet.
You provide the glass, we’ll provide the beer.
At Drizly, our mission is to provide the widest variety of delicious beers, wines, and liquors for you to choose from, then deliver them in an hour or less. And that’s exactly what we do. Browse our virtual shelves to find the beer you’re after and see it at your door in the same amount of time it takes for your beer mug to chill in the freezer.
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