One of the coolest things about going to a bar or restaurant that features an extensive beer selection is their use of a particular glass for specific types of beer. It would be a bit impractical to try to have specialized glasses for every type of beer at home, but if you think beer is better when it’s in a different glass, it might not be your imagination.
Take some time to learn why different types of glasses are recommended for various kinds of beer before deciding what kinds of glasses to have on hand for your homebrew creations.
A Lid for Every Pot, A Glass for Every Beer
Sampling glasses are designed with the indecisive beer drinker in mind. They’re often found atop a wooden plank in the form of sampler beer flights. As they say, variety is the spice of life!
The American pint glass is probably the one you’re most familiar with because it’s widely used in bars and restaurants. Also known as a shaker glass, this vessel holds 16 ounces and is often used with stout, ale, lager and IPA. You may also be familiar with the slightly larger 20-ounce English pint glass.
Pilsner glasses are tall and skinny. They work well with light beers that are heavily carbonated so you can watch the bubbles rise in the glass. The downside is that they’re small, which may mean many trips to refill your glass.
Beer mugs are widely used throughout the world. They have a handle that is believed to be there to keep you from warming up the beer with your hand. We happen to think it’s there to help you hang on to the glass after you’ve had one or three. The opaque ceramic version is called a beer stein, and it’s an Oktoberfest staple.
Chalices or goblets are beer glasses with a stem. There’s something very elegant about drinking from these glasses, which is why imported beers from Germany and Belgium are frequently served in stemmed glasses. If there is a gold or metal rim around the glass, it’s decorative. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that it affects the taste!
The Best Glass for Beer
Homebrewers have storage issues that don’t apply to restaurants or brewpubs. You may only have enough space for one or two kinds of beer glass before have to start doing away with things like plates and coffee mugs. If you can only have ONE kind of beer glass in the house, a standard pint glass is probably best.
Now that you know what kind of glass to serve it in, it’s time to invest in some fantastic ingredients for your next homebrew. Start with your favourite recipe, order fresh hops, and let your imagination run wild!