All you discerning beer drinkers out there – professionals and dilettantes alike — come one, come all, gather round for this crash-course lesson in beer glass etiquette.
The golden age of beer is upon us – major cities and small towns alike boast beer stores that specialize in myriad varieties of craft beers from all over the world.
Brews like Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams rode the first wave of craft beer hysteria and paved the way for hundreds, even thousands, of other small-batch brewers to try their hand at satisfying the increasingly discerning palates of American beer drinkers.
But what are you going to drink them in? Here’s the abridged version:
Traditional English and Irish pubs are the epicenter for pint glassware, generally the default vessel for English-style ales, stouts and ciders. Some pint glasses – also called “pub glasses” — are strictly cone-shaped, some are “nonic,” which means the glass bulges out a couple of inches from the top, and some are jug-shaped, equipped with a handle for those drinkers with butterfingers. Or for those whose grip loosens as the night wears on…
Goblets and Chalices
Most American beer drinkers probably never saw a beer served in these ancient glasses until Stella Artois surged in popularity. The irony is that Stella – a light pilsner –is not indicative at all of the renowned, full-bodied, layered-in-complexity Belgian style of beers.
Belgian Trappist monks have been serving heavy tripels and strong ales in these regal, ostentatious glasses since the Dark Ages. Those monks know what they’re doing, with their brews often receiving the highest accolades in the world.
What the heck’s the difference between a goblet and a chalice? Usually the thickness: goblets are typically lighter and thinner, while chalices are heavy and thick.
Pilsner glasses are tapered and generally smaller than pint glasses, and are widely used for a variety of light beers like pilsners and pale lagers. Think “tall and skinny” for these guys; also, when you just want a little taste, you can pour from a keg or growler into a smaller pilsner glass. On a hot summer’s day, a glass of cold beer in a pilsner can look awfully refreshing.
Often called a mug, this is the ultimate German beer vessel. Steins can be made of glass, stoneware or pewter, and traditionally come in half-liter or full liter sizes. Steins scream “Deutschland” with a capital D; the famed one-liter monster steins are ubiquitous at Munich’s Oktoberfest, where Germans and tourists alike consume ungodly quantities of the Märzen style of beer, and sometimes bite people shortly thereafter.
Now, if you really want to advance to Super Beer Snob status, then it’s time to look into some more exotic glassware, like brandy snifters, yards, weizen glasses (for wheat beer), tulip glasses and flute glasses.
Become a Better Beer Bartender
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Home of the Brave…Brewer
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Mr. Beer.com features refills for a wide variety of beers, from American Porter to Oktoberfest Lager to Classic American Light (for all you guys who want to play it safe).
So start brewing and pouring as you drink in the golden age of beer!
The views expressed are solely the views of the author, an independent contractor of DubLi, Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of DubLi, Inc. Bed Bath & Beyond and MrBeer.com are part of DubLi, Inc’s network of affiliated merchants and receive commissions from purchases made through their sites.