There is a wide variety of beer glassware available for you to choose from, and they each have their own unique characteristics. In fact, some glassware is designed specifically to help preserve the foam head of your beer, while others are designed to help enhance the colors of your brew. It’s important to remember that it’s more than just a glass that holds your beer; it’s a delivery mechanism that brings out the unique flavors, colors and aroma of your favorite beer. The type of glass you use has the ability to make or break your overall experience. Let’s take a look at the most common types of beer glasses, and what they mean for you and your favorite beer.
Numbskull 16oz Pint Glass - Rolf Glass
1. Pint Glasses / Shaker Pints
While there are multiple kinds of pint glasses, the American pint glass is probably the most common glass for beer, in the United States at least. This is the glass that you will likely be served in a bar or restaurant. The American Pint Glass, sometimes called a Shaker glass, has a simple and somewhat skinny cylindrical shape that gets wider as it goes up. This type of pint glass typically holds 16 oz. and is common to use with most type of beers, including lagers and ales, as well as other styles such as IPAs, stouts and porters. The English pint glass, also commonly referred to as an Imperial or Nonic glass, is shaped much like the American pint, but has a slight lip near the top. The English pint also holds 20 oz. and is usually preferred for drinking English ales and lagers. This type of glassware is cheap to manufacture, cheap to buy and easy to drink out of. Bars love to stock the pint glass because they’re easy to clean and simple to stack. All of which is probably why it’s the go-to glassware for most beer enthusiasts.
2. Beer Mugs
Fly Fishing 16oz Beer Mug - Rolf Glass
The beer mug is one of my personal favorites, because it’s incredibly robust, easy to use and holds a lot of beer. Common in England, Germany and the United States, this type of beer glass comes in all sizes. The main characteristic of the beer mug is its wide cylindrical shape with a handle on the side. The thick glass walls helps insulate your brew to keep it cool, while the handle helps prevent your hands from inadvertently warming up your beer (or dropping it when you’ve had too many). Sometimes beer mugs will have dimples throughout the glass. While most believe this is merely for decorative purposes, others argue that the dimples help a drinker appreciate the overall color and clarity of their beer. No matter what you believe, there’s no denying the popularity of this beer glass. They’re easy to use, strong enough to toast your friends in a hearty manner, and it holds plenty of beer!
Palm Tree 16oz Beer Pilsner - Rolf Glass
3. Weizen Glasses
Weizen glasses are often confused with pilsner glasses, due to their similar shape and size. The main difference between these two styles, is that the Weizen glasses have more curvature to them, especially at the top of the glass. Starting with a strong, narrow base, the glass has a distinctive curve to it as it goes up. This type of beer glass is much taller than a pint glass, and usually holds at least ½ a liter of beer. Another important characteristic, weizen glasses are designed for and primarily used for wheat beers (Weizenbier
). The curved lip at the top of the glass helps trap and encourage a thick foam head, allowing for you to appreciate the full aroma and flavor that comes along with wheat beers. However, be wary of the fruit that is usually served on the rim of wheat beers, especially at bars, as the acidity and juice of the fruit could destroy the foam head.
Diamond Snifter - Rolf Glass
This type of beer glassware is somewhat rare to find out in public. However, don’t let that stop you from trying it out. You may have already heard of the snifter glass, as it is usually used for tasting cognac and brandy, but many people don’t realize that it’s also great at enriching the aromatics of beer. The unique shape of the glass allows you to swirl your beer around, stirring up the volatiles which helps bring out the full aroma of your brew. This type of glass looks kinda like the offspring of a wine glass and a goblet. It’s small with a thin stem and footer, but the large bowl on top holds plenty of liquid. Despite how much it can hold, with this type of glass you probably don’t want to fill it all the way up to the rim, as it’s typically reserved for beers with strong flavors and aromas. If you fill it up to the rim it may prohibit you from enjoying the full experience. This type of beer glass is typically used for stronger beers, such as Double or Imperial IPAs
and Belgian IPAs
, and is a favorite amongst beer enthusiasts.