A true wine connoisseur recognizes that different glasses are used for different types of wine. The same is true with beer connoisseurs. In order to avoid any gaffes, the ensuing tips are for glasses to use with different beers.
1. A snifter or a small tulip glass (commonly associated with brandy) is recommended for strong beers – over 8 percent alcohol: Examples: English, Irish and Scottish Ales (Russian Imperial Stout, Strong Ale, Old Ale, English-Style Barleywine); American Ales (Imperial or Double IPA, American Barleywine); Belgian and French Ales (Belgian Strong Dark); and Classic Lagers (Doppelbock). The rounded bottom is to warm the beer from the heat in your hand. You hold it, swirl it gently, and the warmth is captured in the top taper as an aroma you can savor.
2. Stemmed ‘Pokal’ – It is analogous to a pilsner flute, except it has a stem at the bottom. It is used to serve German lager beers that are very malty. The bockstyle lager beer has a sweet aroma and this glass allows the aroma to permeate the nose while it creates an exemplary head of foam. Examples: English, Irish and Scottish Ales ( Scotch Ale); Other Ales and Hygrids (Weizenbock); and Classic Lagers (Heller Bock or Mailbock, Bock).
3. French ‘Jelly’ glass – It sounds fancy but looks like a regular drinking glass that is narrower at the base and wider at the lip. Note: the description of the glass talks about jewel like facets around the side. This used for Belgian and French Ales – most notably, Wibier White Ale.
4. American ‘Shaker’ Pint – Since this glass, which also looks like an everyday 16 ounce drinking glass, does not bring out the aroma and flavor of the beer, is used to serve light lager beers. American Ales – Amber Ale, Red Ale; Other Ales and Hybrids – American Wheat Ale; Classic Lagers – American Amber Lager.
5. ‘Nonick’ Imperial Pint – This is a name brand glass that was adopted by British Parliament in 1824 as an official measure. In the 1960s, the pint glass was produced for pubs. It bulges out at the top and gives the holder a good grip. Beer styles for this glass: English, Irish and Scottish Ales – English Pale Ale, Ordinary Bitter/Best Bitter/ESB, English-Style India Pale Ale, English Brown Ale, English-Style Porter; American Ales – American Pale Ale, American Brown Ale, American Porter and Stout.
6. Classic Pilsner Flute looks shaped like a champagne flute. The shape is conical, which sustains the foam head and the narrow design gives the drinker an aromatic sip. Beer Styles for this glass: English, Irish and Scottish Ales – Scotch Ale; Other Ales & Hybrids – Berline Weisse, Költch, Dusseldorfer Altbier, Cream Ale, California Common Beer; Classic Lagers – Bohemian Pilsner, German Pilsner, Dortmunder Export.
7. Stemmed Abbey Goblet – These goblets differ in design and color and are the goblets breweries design and usually have their logos. The glass is beautiful. You buy these glasses from the brewery and are not the normal stemware that serve beer drinkers.
8. Handled Glass Stein – The stein is used to drink traditional German beers. The glass is strong to clink and the handle keeps the drinker from warming the beer. Suggested Beer Styles: Classic Lagers – Oktoberfest, Märzen, Vienna, Munich Dunkel, Schwarzbier.
There are eight specific glasses but only three main shapes. The pint glass, the Pilsner glass and the Snifter. The rule of thumb in serving beer is by the alcoholic content. The smaller glasses have higher alcoholic content. The pint glasses have lower alcoholic content. These tips should make your beer drinking an unique experience..