Glassware for Beer

Posted by BeerMaven | Beer Glasses | Posted on December 30th

Like wine, beer has complex flavors and aromas that need to be treated according to the style of each beer when serving it. Some microbrew beers do wonderfully on ice, while the cold could mask aromas and flavors in darker beer. Just as serving temperatures matter, the glass you serve your beer in could make a greater difference than you would like to admit.

I prefer to serve all of my wheat ales out of a hefeweizen glass because the narrow bottom of the glass promotes the production of a great head during the pour and the glass has a wide mouth to allow you to really immerse yourself in the aroma during the drinking experience. Our sense of smell contributes to our sense of taste, which is why choosing a glass that allows your sense of smell to be included in the overall experience will truly allow you to enjoy your beer.

In Europe, each microbrewery is known to produce its own glassware, specific to the beers it produces. In fact, it is not uncommon for the glassware to be designed before the brewer creates the recipe. This makes a strong case for the influence that your glassware can have on your drinking experience. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and purchase a glass for every type of beer on the planet, but there are a few specific glasses that you will want to have around your bar.

For ales, a Nonic glass, otherwise known as an English pub glass, is a versatile glass that you can serve most ales out of. For the darker ales, you will require a more bulbous glass such as a Guinness pint glass. The wider mouth on the Guinness pint glass will help bring out all of the ethyrs and natural oils in the beer to make the experience deep and robust the entire way through.

For wheat beers, you will want my aforementioned hefeweizen glass, which is a tall, 23 ounce glass that is narrow at the bottom with a wide mouth that allows your head to develop. Wheat beers emit aromas of citrus, banana and clove that really contribute to the overall quality of the beer. Finally, for lagers and pilsners, you should choose a pilsner glass, which is shaped much like a V and helps keep your lager or pilsners crisp and refreshing.

Some beer clubs go into much greater detail about glassware than I care to sometimes, but I do recognize the importance of glassware. Merely pouring a beer into a glass, instead of drinking it out of the bottle, makes a world of difference. Choosing the right glassware will really bring out the best in your beer.

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