Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Beer Glasses: Which to use for each type of beer

Image from PersonalCreations
A few years ago I was lucky enough to go on a Riedel wine glass masterclass: the aim being to discover whether the overall design of the glass make a difference to the contents. I have to admit I was slightly sceptical at the start, but an open mind is a wonderful thing and before long the Pinot Noir in my balloon glass was a world away from what I expected.

It's not just wine this applies to though. What you choose to serve your beer in could make all the difference between an average pint and a beer experience.

I want to show you the most common types of glass and what they mean to liquid inside them, so here's my handy beginner's guide to beer glasses:

The American Pint Cone

Originally designed for ease of stacking and shelf space efficiency, the cone glass is the most popular style of glass for most beers. Thick glass walls and a simple cone shape originally used for durability also contribute to temperature maintenance and do allow for a greater aroma release. You'll find most lagers and American styles of beer are presented in one of these.
£13.99 for a 6 pack from Drinkstuff

The Nonic, or 'English' Pint glass

Identifiable by the bulge that protrudes from just under the rim of the glass, this is the innovation of the English glass industry. The rim of the glass is far more durable thanks to the bulge. This glass can be seen in pretty much any English pub and can be used to serve anything bar a few speciality beers. What's more, the bulge actually makes it a little bit easier to hold!

£6.25 for a 4 pack from Amazon

The Stemmed Thistle

Mainly used for much more hoppy styles of beer such as IPAs, many Belgian styles and strong ales, this is so called for its resemblance to the Dutch flower. With a bulbous bottom and a flared top, it aids in massive amounts of aroma release, shows off the colour and maintains the head of the beer. The stem also keeps it away from surfaces to keep it cool.
£14.99 for a pack of 6 from DrinkStuff. I actually have a set of these and they are fantastic!

The Chalice or Goblet

Generally used to serve Belgian beers, German Doppelbocks and most high strength 'sipping beer', the difference between the two is minimal. Goblets are generally thinner and chalices sometimes have a widget at the bottom to allow the flow of carbon dioxide, but both are stemmed glasses with large bowls.

£24.99 for a 6 pack from Amazon

The Stein

The hallmark of the German beer festival (and often forgotten by some that it holds a litre and not a pint), this glass is easily identified by its large handle and sometimes by a lid operated by the thumb. The thick walls keep the beer cold while the handle stops heat transfer from the hand. Typically used for most lagers, these can made from glass, porcelain or even wood.
£6.99 per glass from Drinkstuff

So does it actually make a difference? There is no hard and fast rule for what beer should be consumed from what vessel, but there are certain benefits to different glasses. Imagine drinking red wine from a champagne flute... you wouldn't do it right? 

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