The different types of beer glasses available around the world are vast. So we wanted to put together an overview of the most popular beer glasses that are used in many craft beer bars today.
Taking the time to select the best glass for your beer will help you enjoy it to the fullest – by releasing the aromas, allowing you to study the beautiful color, and even guiding you to a suitable serving size depending on potency. Choosing the correct glassware can take your beer-drinking experience to the next level.
The pint glass is by far the most popular beer glass used. Almost cylindrical in shape, the pint glass has a slight taper and wide mouth. Traditionally this would hold 20 imperial fluid ounces, and you still find these used for many British ales and stouts with thick heads, however, an American pint holds 16 US fluid ounces and is the standard used today for most lagers, pale ales, and pilsners.
Weizen Glass / Wheat Beer Glass
Specifically made to help with the larger volume and a head that foams more than other beers, the Weizen glass (or wheat beer glass) is tall, thin, and has a large opening, helping to release those banana/clove/citrus aromas that wheat beers are known for. Most will hold 0.5 Litres of beer, thanks to their European origin (that’s 16.9 fl oz), but sometimes there are variations in sizing.
Goblet or Chalice Glass
Goblets are stemmed, bulbous glasses of medium size, perfect for a healthy pour of Belgian ales, German bocks, and other big heavy beers. Chalices are very similar in size and shape, but with somewhat thicker glass and heavier stems. They both aim to maintain a head of around one inch, use a wide mouth for easy sipping, and hold around 13 ounces of beer.
Named to reference its shape, the tulip glass begins rounded at the stem, but has an elongated top, making a glass that better maintains the head of more effervescent beers such as pale ales, while also trapping the more forward aromas of Scottish ales and American double/imperial IPAs.
Snifter Glasses for Beer
Usually used for sipping brandy and cognac, the snifter has made the transition into beer glass territory, albeit a shrunken 9 or 10-ounce size. It’s almost exclusively used when it comes to the more potent brews such as double/imperial IPAs, Belgian ales, barley wines, and wheat wines. The shape helps trap the ‘volatile compounds’ of a brew, which are essentially the key components you want to be delivered to your olfactory system in order to enjoy the full aromas of a drink.
Beer Sample Glass/Flight Glass
At any Bottleneck Management pour house, we offer 6 oz pours of all our draft beers as a way to sample something new, rare, or unusual without committing to a larger pour. We also use four of these to create a beer flight, which any guest can customize to their liking. While sample glasses can vary in size and shape, we like to offer the six-ounce size in order to share a generous taste before anyone makes up their mind on a new beer.
As mentioned above, there are other less common beer glasses around, and even some specialty glassware such as the flute glass (often used for lambics and fruited beers), a boot, a stein, and even a yard glass. These have mixed traditions and origins, and are more often seen in European countries, or specialty/themed bars, and we may choose to cover them in a future blog post.
The Beer 101 Series
P.S. – For other types of glassware suitable for all types of wine and cocktails, try this blog post instead.