Glassware Guide: 8+ Different Types of Beer Glasses to Drink Brew From

If you want to step up your beer game, you can’t always drink from the bottle. As you’ve probably guessed, just like wine, different beer glasses go with different types of beer.

Here we show you the different types of the most popular beer glasses, which beers they go with, and how they’ll affect your overall experience.

At A Glance: Our Top 8 Picks for Types of Beer Glasses

You may be skeptical. Can it really make that much of a difference? Yes, it can. A good beer can be enjoyed from just about any container, of course, but the right glass does enhance your drinking experience, especially when drinking premium beer.

If you’re investing the effort in drinking good beer, invest the effort in drinking it from the right glass!

Note – below we present the 8 most popular types, though of course, there are many more. Also, you don’t necessarily need to buy all 8. You’ll see that just having a few types can cover more than one category.

Glassware Guide: 8+ Different Types of Beer Glasses to Drink Brew From

IMAGEPRODUCT
The Pilsner Glass
  • Design allows for clear visibility of color and carbonation bubbles
  • Ideal for lighter beers
  • Aroma-enhancing
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The Tulip Glass
  • German-made beer glasses
  • For all types of beer and ales
  • Allows for easy swirling, releasing full aromas
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The American Pint Glass
  • Cheap
  • Versatile (good for any beer/beverage)
  • Easy to clean
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The Spiegelau IPA Glass
  • Superior aeration for better flavor
  • For all types of beer and ales
  • Centuries of craft
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The Stout Glass
  • Designed and crafted in Italy
  • Foam control system
  • Bowl shape curved
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Mug of Beer
  • Structure keeps beverage from warming up
  • Simple design
  • Supportive grip
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Snifter Glasses
  • Ideal for brandy or cognac
  • Modern shape
  • Premium quality
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The Glass Beer Stein
  • Half liter stein
  • Ceramic stoneware
  • Hand painted
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1. The Pilsner Glass

The Pilsner Beer GlassBest for: Pilsners (surprise!), pale lagers, some lambics
Benefits: Head retention, showcasing clarity, and aroma enhancement

Tall and a little bit curvy; the slender design accentuates the carbonation of lighter beers and gives you a clear picture of the golden liquid within.

The wider mouth lets you retain the thick beer head, enhancing the aroma and giving your beer more flavor. This is considered one of the most versatile beer glasses, and is appropriate for most light beers.

Lighter beer styles are usually lighter on flavor, so using this will give you a much better drinking experience.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Top 5 Craft Beer Recipes

2. The Tulip Glass

Tulip GlassBest for: Belgian ales. Also works for IPAs and stouts.
Benefits: The bowl traps the aroma and the stem allows for a good swirl

This is one of the most versatile types of beer glasses too. If you order craft beer at a bar focused on craft beer, there’s a good chance it will come in this.

With its flared mouth, wide, bulbous belly, and stubby little stem, you’ll instantly feel like a Brugge-born Belgian beer snob.

Aside from looking cool hanging from your bar and making you look like a better person than your bottle-guzzling friends, the glass shape actually takes a delicious beer style and makes it exquisite.

This is a beer-enhancing machine from top to bottom—its rim corrals the head, its bulb traps more aromas inside, and the stem allows for an easy swirl to release more flavor (feel like a snob yet?).

Sure, you can’t pronounce the beers right, but you will at least look like you know what you’re doing!

Also, watch this video on how to pour your beer in this glass for added class!


3. The American Pint Glass

US Pint GlassBest for: All types of beer!
Benefits: Easy to clean, cheap, holds a lot of beer

Pint glasses are popular not for their beer-enhancing abilities, but more so out of convenience.

For beer snobs, they are just a slight step up from your 19th century tar-smattered leather drinking flask.

The reason they’re so popular is that they are easy to stack and clean, dirt cheap, and wide enough to hold a lot of beer.

Of course, if you’re just drinking a few beers at home, they’re better than the bottle. And, the wide mouth definitely helps release at least some extra flavor.

Still, even if pint glasses can handle a number of different types of beer, they aren’t really good for any in particular.


4. The Spiegelau IPA Glass

Spiegelau IPA GlassBest for: IPAs
Benefits: Aeration, aroma funneling

No conversation with a beer hipster lasts more than 2 minutes without this acronym getting thrown around. IPAs are slowly taking over the beerscape and for good reason.

The rush of hops, citrus, and varied coniferous hues makes these beers an experience unlike any other.

The Spiegelau IPA glass is the brainchild of Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head brewing companies, two monsters in the industry.

It has the perfect glass shape to unleash and accentuate the nuances of these fine pieces of beermanship.

The ridges aerate the beer style for better flavor, the increased surface area creates more friction, and the bottlenose rim funnels the aromas straight to your nose instead of dispersing them.

For stronger IPAs, you might need a goblet (more on those later).

FREE DOWNLOAD: Top 5 Craft Beer Recipes

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libbey craft beer glass mix

Check out our favorite set of Amazon’s best beer glasses here!

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5. The Stout Glass

The Stout GlassBest for: Stouts. Sometimes double IPAs or other heavy, dark beers
Benefits: Concave form preserves aroma. Angled mouth enhances the head and taste

The shorter, stubbier cousin of the IPA glass, the stout glass is a brew-specific vessel worthy of the heavy, regal beer that sits within. It looks like a pint glass with an exceptionally wide middle.

The concave form acts like a scent cannon and the mouth retains the massive head that dark beer produces. The “shelf” in the middle helps shoot the flavors upward toward your mouth.

Just as important as the design are the materials used. The slick glass shape completes the almost bourgeois feeling of sipping a stout, cream ale, and pale ales.

“To pick the right type of stout glass, look for a large rim that allows for plenty of head. Dark beer creates above average amounts of foam, or head when poured.”
– Rodney Brazil, Home Wet Bar

However, there’s another angle to look at when it comes to drinking Guinness. According to a study, scientists claims that this stout beer tastes better in a giant cocktail glass. Well, we have to give it a try and see it for ourselves. [1]


6. Mug of Beer

Mug of BeerBest for: Light to medium lagers
Benefits: You don’t drop your beer

Chances are you remember beer mugs from every time you’ve been to the bar (or kinda remember them…). But do you know why they’re so popular?

A beer mug serves two main purposes: it helps you grip your wheat beer (when you’ve had a few extra) and ensures your hands don’t warm it up.

They’re great for casually hanging at the bar or on the back deck. If you’re just trying to have your friends over to enjoy a few drinks (and a lot of “cheersing”), then these are perfect. Nazdrovia.


7. Snifter Glasses

Snifter GlassesBest for: Heavy IPAs (double/imperial), Belgian ales, stouts, barleywine
Benefits: Wide bowl for swirling and agitation, tapered mouth for aroma

If you’re the kinda guy that loves a good heavy stout or IPA (or happens to be entering a Sir Winston Churchill lookalike contest), having a snifter in your hand will enhance your beer experience like few other styles of glassware.

Although traditionally used for cognac and brandy, beer lovers slowly discovered just how much they enhanced aroma.

We even tried a blind taste test here and the results speak for themselves—the snifter glasses won every time.

The wide belly short stems are great for swirling and agitating your beer for extra flavor and the tapered lip lets your palette capture more subtle aroma from the drink. Oh yeah, and you can sound like a snob while drinking one.


8. The Glass Beer Stein

The Stein beer glassBest for: Decoration….or light beers or wheat beers
Benefits: They look amazing. They’re a great conversation piece. They prevent the plague (these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA)

These ornate pieces of German legend are great to have on your mantelpiece and can even help you make friends at an outdoor picnic.

However, beer steins aren’t really that different from beer mugs in function. The difference is they’ve got a thumb-operated lid to help protect your beer.

In Europe, people once believed lids on their beer prevented the plague (welp, glad that worked!).

Steins are great for holding any beer serving and could even slightly enhance the taste of light beers, but they’re best just as decorations in our opinion.

You can get the same effect from a pint glass for a fraction of the price.


Honorable Mentions for the Best Beer Glasses

A few extra honorable mentions that have their time and place are:

A beer glass set

  • Beer Goblets: If you want to enjoy heavy, malty beers or sacrifice to pagan gods, a goblet is the perfect choice. The large bowl and wide mouth give you plenty of room to analyze every scent and flavor. Plus, it holds a TON of beer.
  • Stange Glass: Nope, it’s not strange glasses. The most you can say about a stange glass is that it’s…well….kinda boring. It’s basically just there. It might help intensify some delicate beers, but it really looks more like a glass for tap water.
  • Beer Tasting Glasses: Tasting glasses (or sampler glasses) are a handy tool to have when you’ve got a range of great beers to try at home. Rather than spending $30 on a flight at a brewery and getting service by some guy with a twirly mustache, you can serve your friends your own flights and look really cool while doing it.

There are tons of beer glasses out there as explained above and we can say that yes, using a variety of these in different beer styles can make your drinking experience unique. [2]


What’s Your Favorite Type of Beer Glass?

friends making a beer toastThese beer glass types cover pretty much all of your bases. In fact, there are others like weizen glass, flute glass, and thistle glass that we did not mention.

Instead of drinking from a boring bottle, or worse, from a regular glass, you can sip a beer out of a glass that was designed specifically to enhance the flavors and your overall experience. This separates the casual drinker from the (legit or at least wannabe) connosseur!

If you’re a beer enthusiast (Hi, I’m Tom, and I’m a beer enthusiast), having at least a few of these different types of glasses is worth it. Again, you don’t need all of them – just pick a few based on what type of beer you know you like to drink the most. Each type of beer glass is unique with its own set of advantages and drawbacks, so make sure you get the right one for your tastes.

What was your favorite? Let us know!

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libbey craft beer glass mix

Check out our favorite set of Amazon’s best beer glasses here!

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References:

1. Harry Pettit, You’ve been drinking Guinness all wrong! Scientist claims the perfect stout should come in a giant COCKTAIL glass to help it settle faster, retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5608411/Scientists-claim-perfect-Guinness-comes-poured-giant-COCKTAIL-glass.html

2. Krystal D’Costa, Does Your Beer Glass Matter?, retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/does-your-beer-glass-matter/