Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:23

Beer Glassware: Why Your Glass Matters

Written by  Jack Raymond
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Throw on your thickest accent and say it as any proper German would, “Veizen!” Only wheat-style beers and bocks qualify for display inside this top-heavy glass, which showcases gorgeous hues ranging from goldenrod to plump Florida orange. The Weizen glass also helps yield a fluffy head post-pour, so when the bubble blanket pops, the banana notes burst.

Beers to drink: HopCat Zugspitze, Grand Rapids Brewing Company Brewer’s Heritage, Greenbush Brewing Company Sunspot


As the chimp’s hand grooves naturally with a banana’s curve, so too does it seem that mankind’s hand grew to grip the standard pint with evolutionary precision (paws off my porter, Lemur!). Cheap to make. No frills to store. Easy to drink from. Need we say more? It’s the multipurpose glass for all brews that defy niche categorization. Here’s where you put your pales, porters, browns, blondes, IPAs, ambers and the rest of the workhorse beer style population. It’s the post-9-to-5 victory beer glass.

Beers to drink: The Mitten Triple Crown Brown, Elk Brewing Porter, OddSide Citra Pale


Elegant, curvy, floral and yes, unquestionably feminine. If you haul dad to your favorite craft pub, chances are he’ll get indignant sipping from this sexy glass in fear of losing man points from fellow fathers. But don’t judge a glass by its architecture, dad. Potent Belgian and scotch styles are typically served in the tulip to help release the beer’s bouquet of esters on the nose. ABV monsters such as DIPAs and barleywines are frequently found in the 12 oz. tulip, too, to temper patrons from getting too hammered too soon.

Beers to drink: Bell’s The Oracle, Dark Horse Sapient Trip


Take a moment now. Swirl the nectar about with a couple twists of the stem. You crave to smoke a pipe now, perhaps? To read a leather-bound collection of romantic poetry, maybe? Yes, the snifter is reserved for Bond beers, James Bond beers: Russian Imperial Stouts, Belgian Quads, Wheatwines, i.e. beers that deserve to languish on the palate like a lady on a big brass bed. The bulbous design traps a beer’s aroma allowing the pleasure of its smell to linger. And god be damned if you don’t just feel like a boss while sipping from a snifter.

Beers to drink: Tapistry Hippy Smell, Founders Imperial Stout, Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer


The gallant throne of glasses, a beer requires some killer credentials if it wants to rest inside the luxury of a container such as this. Trappist beers, brewed by the Belgian monks, are almost exclusively the only brand of brew bartenders are allowed to pour into a chalice. Although by building upon these foreign recipes, American brewers have earned (or taken) the right to pour their creations into these holiest of grails as well. Their value as eye candy aside, chalices also allow for a broad serving of aromatics with their wide-bowled rim.

Beers to drink: Brewery Vivant Solitude, Perrin Quadwood, The Livery Barrel Aged Agent 99


If a bartender hands you one of these tapered 12 ouncers in a blind glass test, you can make an easy guess as to what’s gonna fill it up: light, crisp, foamy yellow beer. Of course pilsners are served in the pilsner, but the well-traveled will find lagers, schwarzbiers (black lagers), doppelbocks and witbiers in this shape as well. The glass provides a pedestal for these crystalline brews dance on.

Beers to drink: Grand Rapids Brewing Company Silver Foam, New Holland Full Circle


The first instinct is to lift this glass in the gesture of a toast, expecting New Year’s champagne to follow, but surprise – beer! With fruit and sour-style beers trending in the craft community, Michigan beer bars are responding with proper glassware by choosing the long and narrow flute, which maintains the effervescent carbonation of these bubbly beers. The flute also displays the intricate lacing of these beers like a doily.

Beers to drink: Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza, New Holland Incorrigible, Bell’s Oarsman


Ball Jar
Old timey, shabby-chic, this is the sort of beer glass your grandma would have drank from if she wasn’t busy with her unsweetened iced tea. A retro-fitted aesthetic for retro-style booze, best bets here include adjunct lagers like PBR or Schlitz so you can impress your Pinterest followers at an affordable price. If you’d like to raise the stakes though, hard ciders and beer cocktails work perfectly in jars for a backyard cookout scenario.

Beers to drink: Flatlander’s Appleshine, Vandermill Ciders Ginger Peach, Short’s Vintage Premium Lager



Beers to drink: Bailey’s from an old shoe

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