If you're anything like me, you've spent a considerable amount of time standing in front of the glass-door beer coolers at your favorite retailer trying to choose something delicious to drink. It seems like there are a million different beers out there to choose from these days, right?
One thing you may not have spent much time considering when choosing your beer though is what to pour your beer into. Most of us have a few favorite glasses at home that we use over and over again for whatever beer we bring home.
There are several different types of beer glasses out there, and the design isn't just for looks. They were actually designed to enhance the beer they were created for. Let's take a look at the most popular glasses available.
First up we have the Pint glass. There are several glasses that fall under this style, but the two most popular are the American Pint & the Nonic. These two glasses are very similar with one small variance. The American Pint, also referred to as a shaker, has straight sides, and was originally made to mix drinks with a cocktail shaker (hence the name). It became popular in bars as a pint glass and took off from there. The Nonic glass, also known as an Imperial Pint, has a slight ridge at the top, which allows for a more substantial head on the beer. The American Pint holds 16 oz vs the Nonic, which holds 20 oz.
Beers best served in these pint glasses: Ales, Amber Ales, Blondes, Brown Ales, IPAs, Lagers, Porters, Red Ales, Stouts.
Secondly, we have the Pilsner glass, which is also fairly popular and common to see out at a bar or in someone's cabinet. They are wonderful for lighter beers, showing off both the color and allowing the carbonation to display beautifully, much like a champagne flute. The slim tapered shape promotes proper head retention.
Beers best served in Pilsner glasses: Lagers, Pilsners, Schwarzbiers
Similar to the Pilsner is the Weizen glass. Designed for Weizenbier (Wheat beer), the tall thin shape captures the fluffy head and bready/banana aromatics of Wheat beers perfectly.
Beers best served in Weizen glasses: Dunkelweizens, Hefeweizens, Weizenbocks, Wheat Ales.
The Snifter glass is perfect for serving up a high gravity beer, especially those that are bourbon barrel-aged, because the shape helps to capture and concentrate the aromas. The wide base also allows for maximum heat transfer from your hands when holding the glass, which can actually reveal different depths of flavor and aroma that would normally remain hidden while the beer is chilled.
Beers best served in Snifter glasses: Barleywine, Imperial Stouts, Strong Ales, Tripels, Quads.
Tulip glasses are also great for serving up high gravity beers, as well as sours. The shape helps contain the aromas while also allowing proper head retention.
Beers best served in Tulip glasses: Scotch Ales, Lambics, Saisons, Ciders, Goses, Dubbels, Double IPAs, Beires de Garde, Sours, Belgian Ales.
Last but not least on our list today is the Spiegelau glass. This glass was created by Ken Grossman and Sam Calagione, with the Spiegelau glassware company, to perfectly pair with hop-forward IPAs. It boosts both the aroma and flavor of your IPA, while maintaining a light frothy head.
Beers best served in Spiegelau glassses: IPAs, Imperial IPAs, Pale Ales.
So the next time you are standing in front of those blessed beer cooler doors trying to choose the perfect beer, take a moment to consider the perfect glass as well.