When it comes to enjoying a beer, many factors contribute to the overall experience, including the choice of glassware. While it might seem insignificant, the shape and design of a beer glass can significantly impact the flavors and aromas of the brew. Let’s delve into the world of beer glasses and explore how various glass types enhance the flavors of the beer they are designed for. So, grab a pint and let’s get started!
Types of Beer Glasses For Taste and Aroma
The Pint Glass
The iconic pint glass, also known as a “shaker” or “tumbler” glass, is a popular choice for serving various beer styles. Its cylindrical shape with a slight taper allows for easy grip and showcases the beer’s color and carbonation. While it doesn’t provide any specific enhancements to the flavors, the pint glass is adaptable and suits many types of beers (apart from aromatic ones, since the volatile compounds dissipate too quickly from the wide mouth to be truly appreciated).
The Tulip Glass
Diebolt’s Electric Cowboy IPA has refreshing hints of citrus and a beautiful, hoppy aroma. Enjoy with a tulip style glass for maximum taste and scent experience.
Of all the types of beer glasses, this is one of the most versatile. The tulip glass features a bulbous body with an inward curve at the top, resembling the shape of a tulip flower. This design is perfect for aromatic beers like Belgian ales, saisons, sours, IPAs, and strong ales. The curved rim captures and concentrates the beer’s aromas, while the taller lip provides space for a rich, creamy head to develop. The shape also helps in trapping volatile compounds, intensifying the beer’s aroma.
The Snifter Glass
Originally designed for brandy, the snifter glass found its way into the beer world due to its ability to concentrate aromas. It features a short stem, a wide bottom, and a narrow top. The wide bowl allows for swirling the beer, releasing its aromatic compounds, while the narrow opening directs those aromas towards the drinker’s nose. The snifter glass is commonly used for strong, aromatic beers like barleywines, imperial stouts, and Belgian quadrupels. Snifters can also be handy if you’re looking for portion control, since they are only around 9 oz in volume (compared to a 16 oz pint).
The Pilsner Glass
Diebolt’s Made There Slovenian Pilsner features subtle tropical notes and bright aromas best brought out in a pilsner style glass.
The pilsner glass is tall and slender, featuring a narrow body that widens slightly towards the top. It is specifically designed for showcasing pale lagers, pilsners, and other light-bodied beers. The elongated shape preserves the beer’s effervescence (fizz fizz) and showcases its golden color while maintaining a foamy head. The design also helps to concentrate delicate hop aromas, making each sip a refreshing experience.
The Weizen Glass
With its distinctive elongated shape, the weizen glass is crafted for wheat beers, such as hefeweizens and witbiers. It is often confused for a pilsner, since the two are similar in appearance. The weizen has a more accentuated curve to trap and emphasize the nutty aromas of a wheat beer, while the tall, slender design allows ample space for the beer’s frothy head to develop. Additionally, the wide top provides room for the drinker to savor the rich, complex flavors of the wheat beer style.
The Teku Glass
One of the more recent types of beer glasses is the Teku. Something of a hybrid between a tulip glass and a wine glass, the Teku has emerged as a favorite among craft brewers. The name is a mash-up of the names of its creators, Teo Musso and Lorenzo “Kuaska” Dabove. The unique design combines the tulip glass’ ability to enhance aromas and head retention, while the long stem helps keep the beer colder longer.
What About Beer Mugs?
Glass and ceramic mugs are also an option for containing your suds. They’re not a great option when it comes to flavor or aroma enhancement, since they’re far too large to contain those compounds for any length of time. There is also very little chance you’ll be able to consume an entire mug before it goes warm and flat. The only time you should really be swilling beer from a mug is if you are pretending to be a pirate whose primary goal is to get well and truly sauced. And in this case, you must always refer to it as “ale,” no matter what type of beer it is.
In other words, don’t waste good beer on a mug. Save it for playing pirates or Oktoberfest, which is also (friendly reminder) the only acceptable time to wear your dirndl and lederhosen.
Cans Are Good, Too
We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with sipping directly from the can or bottle when it comes to beer. At Diebolt, one of our favorite processes (aside from the brews themselves) is coming up with concepts for the labels on our iconic cans. That being said, the right glassware can help bring out the best a specific type of beer has to offer. It really just depends on the situation. If you are looking to truly taste and appreciate the more subtle qualities of a brew, pick the right glass. But if you’re just looking to relax and knock a few back with friends, a can is nothing to thumb your nose at. Either way, there won’t be a test after, so no pressure.