Glassware Guide: Which Beer Styles Should Be Served in What Glass?
For every great craft beer there is an equally-awesome beer glass to drink it from. In this post, we’ll cover beer glassware; including a handy beer-style-to-glassware lookup table, and an overview of each glass and why it’s the preferred choice for a given type of beer.
By Dustin Miller on Sep. 24, 2020
Have you ever wondered why there are so many different shapes of beer glasses? Beer glassware is intended to improve not only the presentation of your beer but also enhance the overall experience. Choosing the right beer glass is essential to get the full flavour, aroma and more out of your brew. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What beer glass should I use?” this article is your guide to matching the right glassware to each beer style.
- Beer Glassware Chart – a Lookup Guide & Reference
- About Beer Glass Types
Does beer glassware actually make a difference to flavour?
Yes! From how the glass can aerate and bring forward aromas, to how its thickness can keep your beer colder longer, the many types of glassware are intended to improve your experience of flavour, aroma, and generally just make your beer that much better. Read more on why you should drink your beer out of a glass.
Tip: Press “Ctrl” + “F” (PC) or “Command” + “F” (Mac) and search this page for the beer style and associated recommended glassware or scroll down and browse the list:
About Beer Glassware Types
American Shaker Pint – An American shaker pint (also called a shaker glass) is a thick, 16 oz beer glass that is wide at the mouth with a slightly narrower base. This all-purpose glass is quite common across America and got its name from initially being used as martini shakers in the 1970s. Shaker beer glasses are low-cost to purchase manufacture, which plays a significant role in their popularity.
Best for: American-style ales and lagers (though widely-used for many styles).
British Nonic Imperial Pint – A British nonic imperial pint, also known as “Nonic” (Pronounced “No Knick”) is a thick, 20 oz beer glass that has a small lip at the mouth. These glasses are not as standard in America as the Shaker Pint but are quite common in British/European countries. The bulge near the mouth of the glass is intended to prevent the lip from nicks if the glass tips. This also allows for these glasses to be stacked without getting stuck.
Best for: English ales (and also widely-used for many styles).
German Willi Becher – A Willi Becher is a tubular beer glass commonly used in Germany. The beer glass is conical and slightly curved at the top with a narrower base. Willi Becher glasses come in sizes of 200 ml (3⁄8 of an imperial pint), 250/300 ml (1⁄2 of an imperial pint), 400 ml (3⁄4 of an imperial pint) and 500 ml (7⁄8 of an imperial pint).
Recommended for: German-style ales and rauchbier, märzen (oktoberfest), and old ales
Pilsner – Pilsner glasses are quite common in both America and Europe. These glasses are tall, skinny, with a slight curve that creates a slightly narrower base than the mouth. This structure helps bring out the authentic taste, flavour profile and aromas in your beer by keeping the foam head intact. This glass is also favoured for showcasing colour and carbonation. The average pilsner glass holds a little less than your ordinary pint glass; about 200ml of beer (3⁄8 of an imperial pint). However, pilsner glasses can be found in a variety of sizes.
Best for: pilsners and light or pale lagers.
Weizen – Weizen Glasses are thin-walled glasses that tend to be quite tall to highlight the golden colour of wheat beers. The slim structure of these glasses is designed to highlight the classic clove and banana aromas commonly found in wheat beers. The opening of the glass ensures head retention. The appearance of Weizen glasses are similar to a Pilsner glass; however, the Weizen beer glass is a little more curved and typically holds a little under a pint of beer.
Good for: Wheat ales, dunkelweizen, hefeweizen and kristalweizen
Stange – The Stange glass (also known as Stangen) is commonly used for Kolsch beers. The word “Stange” is German for “stick,” “rod,” or “pole,” which is fitting for this tall, straight and narrow glass. The Stange glass is designed to capture a high concentration of volatiles and highlight hop and malt aromas. The shape also preserves carbonation. Unlike many other beer glasses, the Stange does not contain any curves and is essentially the same width from base to mouth; the thickness of the base creates sturdiness. This glass typically holds around 100 ml (1⁄8 of an imperial pint) – 200 ml (3⁄8 of an imperial pint).
Best for: German altbier and kölsch
Tall Flute – Tall Flute glasses are a cylindrical vessel, similar to a Champagne Flute. Lambics and Fruit beers are usually served in these glasses. The narrow shape of the glass is designed to help maintain carbonation but enhance the aromatics of the beer.
Good for: lambics and fruit beers
Goblet – Goblet beer glasses are a short, broad, fish-bowl shaped glass with a stem base; usually used for serving heavy, malty beers. It’s wide-mouth allows for head retention, the release of intense aromatics and large sips. Goblet glasses come in a variety of sizes and are not made to hold a specific amount of beer like pint glasses.
Best for: Belgian ales including strong pale ales and berliner weissbier.
Chalice – The chalice is similar to the goblet and tulip (see below); however they have a longer stem and hold more volume making them good for sessionable beers. Think of the gold-rimmed glass your classic Stella Artois is served in—that’s a chalice. The lower interior of the glass is riveted to help agitate and release CO2 from the beer.
Recommended for: Belgian ales, as well as CO₂-heavy beers like Belgian tripels and strong ales—or Stella Artois!
Snifter – Snifter glasses are a little rarer in breweries, as they are usually used for serving brandy and cognac. The glass is a mix between a goblet/chalice and a wine glass. This shape is designed to capture the volatiles but allow room for swirling (as you would wine) to release a more potent aroma.
Ideal for: aromatic beers like Belgian ales, barleywines, and double/imperial IPAs.
Tulip – Tulip glasses are similar to snifters. Like the snifter, the Tulip’s bulbous body allows for swirling to release intense aromas; however, the lip of a Tulip glass contains a slightly flared rim that assists in head retention.
Best for: Scottish ales, Belgian ales and other hoppy, malty and/or aromatic beer styles.
Thistle – The Thistle, a Scottish variant of the tulip, is a slightly slimmer but more curvy glass. It contains the same bulb-like shape and stemmed base, but the thistle tulip flares open at the mouth. The glass is named after and resembles Scotland’s national flower, the Thistle.
Typically used for: robust, hoppy, malty or aromatic brews like Scottish ales, Belgian ales, barleywines and double/imperial IPAs.
Flute – Beer flute glasses are similar to a champagne flute. The tall, narrow shape helps maintain the beer’s carbonation and release intense aromas. For the same reason they are used for Champagne, flute glasses are great for displaying carbonation/sparkling drinks and colour.
Recommended for: lambics, sours, gueuze, bière de champagne, bière Brut and fruit beers, .
Oversized Wine Glass – Though this glass is called a wine glass, it is recommended for serving Belgian ales. The large size allows space for the foamy head. This glass typically holds 22oz, which is a little over a pint. It is an excellent alternative to a goblet or a chalice.
Best for: Belgian ales (when a chalice or tulip aren’t available)
Teku – The Teku is an elegant, long stem beer glass with a thin lip. The long stem prevents your hands from transferring warmth to your beer, thus keeping it at optimal temperature. The design of the glass is intended to provide a full sensory experience by capturing and releasing the beer’s aromas via the outward curve of the Teku glass.
Appropriate for a wide variety of styles. Still, its design intended for concentrating aromas and highlighting flavour profiles makes it the perfect beer glass for sour beers and other strongly aromatic beers.
IPA Glass – The tapered-style IPA glasses have a wide mouth and top half with a narrow/ridged stem base. The glasses, designed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and glassmaker Spiegelau, were explicitly made for IPAs. Like most beers, IPAs should be served at optimal temperature. Regular pint glasses warm up IPAs too quickly, which is why the IPA glass’s 2-millimetre-thick walls help maintain the beer’s temperature. The goblet-style bowl also helps lead the aromas to your nostrils, and the etched bottoms help release the beer’s carbonation in cascading bubbles.
Best for: IPAs & hoppy ales
Stout Glass – Shaped similarly to the IPA Glass, a Stout glass was developed by glassmaker Spiegelau, this time in partnership with Left Hand Brewing Company and Rogue. The tapered glass with a slightly narrow mouth ensures retention of the foam/head. The bowl shape of the glass is designed to highlight the rich, malty and chocolaty notes of the stout beer.
Best for: stouts
American Wheat Beer Glass – American Wheat Beer Glasses (also known as Wheat Beer Glasses / Wit Glasses) are thin-walled with a narrow mouth and base and a large body/bowl. The narrow mouth opening is designed to deliver beer evenly and enhance mouthfeel from the acidity and sweetness of the wheat malt. To maintain the beer’s optimal temperature for an extended period, the glass contains thin glass walls. Lastly, the glass’ large center is intended to concentrate and capture complex aromas.
This glass is designed especially for: hoppy, refreshing American wheat beers.
Mugs & Steins – This style of glass is about quantity over silly things like aroma, flavour and effervescence. Large and built with a handle so you can get more beer to your face. Mugs and steins are made with glass (America) or with porcelain (Germany), stoneware or ceramic.
Best for: LOTS of whatever ales ya! And also märzen (oktoberfest), kellerbier and zwickelbier.
Is it *really* better to drink beer out of a glass?
Definitely. A glass shape and style can affect the flavour and aroma. There’s even an experiment you can try at home to see so for yourself. However, at the end of the day, what’s really going to affect the flavour of your beer the most a clean glass and no matter your choice of glass (or beer) may be…always pour your beer in a glass rather than drink it directly from a can or bottle. For more information, check out – Why you should always drink your beer from a glass
Looking for more information about serving beer?
Check out this post, which includes details like beer temperature and how to make the perfect pour.
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