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Beer Glassware

Beer Glassware

Beer glasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes with various glassware features intended to highlight particular characteristics of the beer. Some are long and thin to display effervescence and clarity, while others are bowl-shaped to highlight aroma and the beer’s foam head. Some others are more decorative and have dimpled sides, or like beer steins, are elaborate pieces of stoneware with graphic images hand painted around the sides.

While most people (and brewers!) will tell you to use a glass appropriate to the style, here at Drafternoon we instead advise you to befriend your favorite tasting glass and stick to it. Usually a bowl-shaped glass will offer the best beer aroma-holding abilities. Tulips and snifters are especially good for containing aroma. The American shaker pint glass offers little aroma containment and therefore is a bad beer tasting glass choice no matter what logo is sprayed on the side. Avoid them.

Below are the types of glasses in our glassware directory


Appropriate for these styles:
Berliner Weisse

Used for berliner weissebier, the bowl is a low-slung, wide glass that you could very much each muesli and yoghurt out of. This glass is all style, but works well with the berliner weisse when that style is adulterated by the woodruff or raspberry syrup. Then it is practically an alcopop, and such an absurb drinking vessel makes sense. Jackson’s Ultimate Beer book shows the berliner weissebiers in a stemmed version of the bowl (almost a bolleke, which is really a cross between a bowl and a Trappist glass), and the additional elegance of the stem seems to fit well a berliner weisse taken neat.

Dimpled mug

Appropriate for these styles:
Amber Lager/Vienna
Brown Ale
Czech Pilsner (Světlý)
Dunkler Bock
Heller Bock
Pale Lager
Strong Pale Lager/Imperial Pils
Traditional Ale
Weizen Bock
A classic in North America, the dimpled mug is a large mug, with dimples, and a handle. It is convex, with the mouth larger than the base. The glass is thick, so bar owners love it. While the dimples make appreciating the appearance of the beer more difficult, the wide mouth releases the aroma just nicely. So while these mugs are most commonly used for raunchy lagers, I would recommend them more for aromatic brown ales (especially the hazy ones), bocks and other dark lagers.

English pint

Appropriate for these styles:

  • Amber Ale
  • Baltic Porter
  • Bitter
  • Dry Stout
  • English Pale Ale
  • English Strong Ale
  • Foreign Stout
  • Golden Ale/Blond Ale
  • Grodziskie/Gose/Lichtenhainer
  • Irish Ale
  • Low Alcohol
  • Mild Ale
  • Old Ale
  • Porter
  • Premium Bitter/ESB
  • Sahti/Gotlandsdricke/Koduõlu
  • Scottish Ale
  • Stout
  • Sweet Stout
  • Traditional Ale

These have a similar purpose to the shaker in that they are made for session ales, in this case bitters, milds, porters and stouts. There are a couple of key differences. First, they pour a proper pint (and usually have a line indicating where that is on the glass, just to make sure you don’t get ripped off). Second, they have a bit more flourish than the bland shaker. There are basically two variations. The first has a gentle curve covering the upper 2/3 of the glass – Guinness uses these. The second has a straight slope for the bottom two-thirds, and then a bump near the top, flattening out at the mouth of the glass.



Appropriate for these styles:

  • Cider
  • Czech Pilsner (Světlý)
  • Fruit Beer
  • Ice Cider/Perry
  • Lambic Style – Faro
  • Lambic Style – Fruit
  • Lambic Style – Gueuze
  • Lambic Style – Unblended
  • Perry
  • Pilsener

Tall, thin, footed with a short stem, often gold-rimmed. These glasses are delicate, and show off a beer’s lean, sparkling body. This makes them inappropriate for heavy, murky beers, but perfect for light, sparkling beers such as fruit lambics and north German pilsners.


Paper Bag

a paper bag

Appropriate for these styles:
Malt Liquor


We seriously need to work more on this list

more to come later

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