It should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of craft beer. Something that I think is extremely important to tasting beer is the use of a glass. Many beer drinkers go straight from the can or bottle, but this is a complete rookie mistake. Beer is meant to be poured out of its container and into a glass, regardless of what John Kimmich says about Heady Topper. #PROPERGLASSWARE is a bit of a meme in the beer trading/beer geek/untapped/twitter universe, that refers to drinking the beer out of the brewery's or even the specific beer's specialty glass (see above). I don't get into quite that level, as my collection is still relatively small, though my wife and limited cabinet space disagree!
The workhorse for higher gravity beers is the tulip. This can come as a much like a snifter or a little bit skinnier with a dip in the middle. I have pictured both pieces below. I generally use this kind of a glass for almost all of my beers, it is versatile and handsome.
Oktoberfest Bier Mug - This type of glass is typically oversized and perfect for mass quantities of lager or festbier. These beers are very sessionable and designed for the biggest beer session of them all Octoberfest!
A variation of this style is "Das Boot" made popular by the movie "Beerfest," if you haven't seen it check out below!
The glass that most people will be familiar with is the pint. This typically comes in a 16 oz format and is great for relatively sessionable beers and is referred to as a shaker pint. This glass is usually very cheap, so feel free to grab a bunch from different breweries when you visit.
It's less popular, but equally useful brother is called the Nonic Pint Glass. It features a notch at the top and is typically sized for a true English pint, 20 ounces. This is ideal for a lower ABV brew, particularly a real or cask ale poured on tap.
A goblet is perfect if you are pouring a high ABV Belgian brew like a tripel or quad. These beers have a great yeast character, and this glass allows you to take a very deep smell of these unique beers.
Gueuze/Lambic glasses are popular for the sour styles originating out of Belgium. The wild ale train is just getting started, and as they become more popular, the quality sours become more expensive to buy or even impossible in the case of Cantillon these days. This glass works almost like a flute for Champagne.
Continuing with the stemware trend, I am will move to the oversized wine glass. You can use a regular wine glass in a pinch, but they are typically sized for smaller beers. This works similar to a tulip, but usually the stem is much more elongated. This makes for a more elegant experience. My favorite beers for this style glass are saisons and other farmhouse ales made with Brettanomyces yeast. I have included photographs of the Hill Farmstead and Pretty Things versions.
This next glass is called a Teku, and is a combination of the tulip and extended wine glass. It features a 16 oz chamber, with a perfect shape for tasting beer. Developed in Italy, more and more breweries that cater to beer geeks are having them made. This is certainly on my wishlist, probably will end up with the Firestone Walker version.
Another glass recently developed is the so called IPA glass. I know this was originally designed by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada for their hop forward beers. I don't know why but something about this glass doesn't excite me a ton. Looks like it would break quite easily.
Finally, tasting glasses, a great variety of which are pictured below made by Three Floyds of Indiana for their Dark Lord beers. These are great for tastings where a 22 oz bomber of beer is shared by 4+ people. Plus they look very cool. Pro tip: Crate and Barrel has mini snifters if you have a last minute tasting coming up!
If I am missing your favorite style of glassware or you want to get in on the conversation, jump in the comments or shoot me an email!