All-in-one Guide To Beer Glasses

Beer flight. Source:  Christi Nielsen

Beer flight. Source: Christi Nielsen

Using the proper glass for a particular beer is essential in having a full tasting experience. First of all, the proper beer glass makes you look more legit and awesome. Secondly, the shape and size of the glass affects the way the beer looks, tastes, smells, and how good the "head" develops. Beer enthusiasts refer to the "head" as the foamy substance at the top of the beer, which is produced by the carbon dioxide within the beer. 

Why is it important to have good "head"?

  1. It looks good! It's aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

  2. It helps give off the beer's aroma. 

  3. It keeps the volatiles, the compounds that evaporate from the beer, within the beer until you're ready to drink it. Volatiles include hop oils, alcohol, spices, and esters. 

Why is too much "head" bad?

  1. More "head" = Less beer.

  2. Less beer = Less happiness.

  3. Less happiness = Bad.

Therefore, by the transitive property, more "head" is bad. In summary, the proper beer glass helps in head development and retention. 

For the next part, my sources include Beer AdvocateTrue BeerCraft Beer, and Jump Tonight. Here are a few beer glass types and their corresponding types of beer:

Source:  Oliver Quinlan

Flute Glass: It has a long and narrow body to prevent the carbon dioxide from dissipating too fast. It is good in showing off carbonation and releases volatiles quicker for a more pronounced aroma. A few beers that are used in this glass are as follows:

  • Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut

  • Czech Pilsener

  • Dortmunder / Export Lager

  • Euro Strong Lager

  • German Pilsener

  • Lambic - Fruit

  • Weizenbock

Source:  dgies

Source: dgies

Goblet: Also known as the chalice, allows for a soft 2cm head due to the nucleation points at the bottom of the glass which creates a constant stream of bubbles and carbonation to flow upwards and maintain the head. The goblet makes you look like a king, maintains head, and is wide-mouthed for deeper sips.

  • Belgian IPA

  • Belgian Strong Dark Ale

  • Berliner Weissbier

  • Dubbel

  • Quadrupel (Quad)

  • Tripel

Source:  Kevin Harber

Source: Kevin Harber

Mug: Heavy and large with a handle. The mug holds a lot of volume and is easy to drink out of. 

  • American Brown Ale

  • American Dark Wheat Ale

  • American IPA

  • American Pale Ale (APA)

  • American Stout

  • Cream Ale

  • Czech Pilsener

  • English Stout

  • English Strong Ale

  • German Pilsener

  • Herbed / Spiced Beer

  • Irish Dry Stout

Source:  Seth Woodworth

Pilsner Glass: Tall, slender, and trumpet-shaped. Maintains head very well and in my opinion, one of the more aesthetically pleasing beer glasses. It is able to show off the clarity, color, and carbonation very well. My favorite!

  • American Amber / Red Lager

  • American Double / Imperial Pilsner

  • American Malt Liquor

  • American Pale Lager

  • Czech Pilsener

  • Euro Lagers

  • German Pilsener

  • Happoshu

  • Japanese Rice Lager

  • Light Lager

  • Low Alcohol Beer

  • Vienna Lager

Tulip: Obviously, shaped like a tulip. The tip of the glass has a lip to capture the head. 

This glass is good at capturing and enhancing volatiles, while supporting a large head. 

  • American Double / Imperial IPA

  • Belgian Dark Ale

  • Belgian IPA

  • Belgian Pale Ale

  • Belgian Strong Dark Ale

  • Belgian Strong Pale Ale

  • Bière de Garde

  • Flanders Oud Bruin

  • Flanders Red Ale

  • Gueuze

  • Lambic - Fruit

  • Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy


Weizen: Bavarian Weizen glass is ideal for Weizenbier (wheat beer). It works pretty much the same way as the Pilsen glass because it shows off the beer's color and sustains a large head. 

  • American Dark Wheat Ale

  • American Pale Wheat Ale

  • Dunkelweizen

  • Gose

  • Hefeweizen

  • Kristalweizen

  • Weizenbock

Source:  Kerri Polizzi

Snifter: It has a wide bowl and a stem. The snifter is good for strong ales, brandy, and cognac as they provide room to swirl the volatiles. 

  • American Double / Imperial IPA

  • American Double / Imperial Stout

  • American Strong Ale

  • Belgian Ales

  • English Barleywine

  • Flanders Oud Bruin

  • Flanders Red Ale

  • Foreign / Export Stout

  • Russian Imperial Stout

  • Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

  • Tripel

  • Wheatwine

Jonathan NgoBeer, GuideComment