Know Your Glasses

I put this together…just something I want to be versed in, knowing what occasion calls for what glass.

Just like with champagne, the shape preserves bubbles. Good for effervescent gueuzes and saisons.

Pilsner Glass
Narrow, to show off the pale-as-straw color; tapered, to hold up thick foam.

Weizen Vase
Like a pilsner glass, tall and tapered to maximize head. A traditional weizen pour involves inverting the bottle completely over the glass and letting the beer glug out in one quick, foam-enhancing stream.

Nonic Pint
That bump keeps it from chipping (hence, “no-nick”). They’re often marked with a fill line these days, to encourage pouring with a 1-inch head. This wasn’t always the case, and bartenders would fill them right to the rim, or face the consequences. Fine for most ales.

Keeping your grip low on the stem helps the beer stay cold. A wide mouth dissipates carbonation fast, letting strong abbey beers show off their flavor.

Like a lidless glass stein, but with etched (now usually molded) dimples to play with light shining through pale beers.

Shaker Pint
Originally used to shake cocktails, but filled with beer starting in the 1980s. Never ideal, but okay for most ales—straight sides and a large mouth means the beer gets warm and flat fast, which can show off the malty notes of some English-style ales.

The small mouth concentrates aroma (a snobbish swirl or two helps even more) but minimizes foam. Pour barleywines, quads, eisbocks, and big stouts, and let the beer warm up a bit in your hand.

Big and heavy for holding a lot of beer and keeping it cold. The lid protects it from bugs while boozing in outdoor beer gardens. Pour the classics: pilsners, märzens, helles bocks, and Oktoberfests.

Tulip Pint
The classic for Guinness and other dry stouts. According to Guinness, a perfect, two-part pour that lets the head rest before topping off should take exactly 119.53 seconds.

A cinched mouth focuses aromatics but opens up at the lip to support a foamy head. Great for saisons, Scotch ales, Belgian strongs, and big IPAs—anything flavorful that you don’t dare drink a lot of.

Little Glasses
Schnitt glasses held chasers, offered automatically in early-1900s America. Pokal glasses, great for strong bocks, are tapered to show off a nice head. Stange (also called rod) glasses are meant to keep Kölschs very cold. Dwarf glasses—meant for super-strong October beers or barleywines—were popular among 18th- and 19th-century English aristocrats.

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