What Glass Should You Drink Your Beer From?

July 27, 2015

What Glass Should You Drink Your Beer From?

After visiting the Friends of Glass stand at Taste of London a few weeks ago, I've finally gotten round to writing up some more information I learnt during their food and wine pairing masterclass.

Though some beer novices believe the vast majority of glassware is just for marketing, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Scientific studies show that the shape of glassware will impact head development and retention. The foam created by pouring a beer acts as a net for many of the volatiles in a beer (volatiles are the compounds that evaporate from beer to create its aroma and all kinds of yeast fermentation byproducts like alcohol, fusels and fruity esters, spices or other additions). Therefore a glass that creates a healthy foam head may enhance the trapping of certain volatiles, meaning the beer is able to hold onto its fruity notes, aroma or alcohol content.

I've listed a quick guide below to help you choose which glass is best for you beer:

What Glass Should You Drink Your Beer From?

These are wide rimmed bowls on a long stem. The design allows a big foamy head and complex aromas to develop, and encourages sipping which means that the beer hits the front of the tongue where sweet and fruit flavours register.

Dimpled Barrel
A thick dimpled glass mug with a handle. The mouth is larger than the base and this releases the aroma. English Pint This style has a wider mouth than base and this releases the aroma in the beer and the beer is sloshed onto the tongue so makes contact with all taste buds.

A tall, narrow, delicate elegant glass on a long stem. The tapered rim pours the liquid towards the back of the tongue enhancing effervescence, and acidity.

Footed Pilsener
Tall and tapered like an inverted isosceles triangle narrower at the bottom than the top. It shows off the colour and carbonation of the beer and as the vessel’s mouth is not too wide it maintains a beer head.
This style is sometimes called a balloon due to its shape - bulbous and narrowing to the top. They sit
on a stem and a foot and make the drinking of beer into an elegant ritual. The shape makes it easy to swirl the beer to release the aromas.

This has a bulbous bottom on a stem and foot. The flared mouth retains a foamy head, and the beer is easy to swirl so the aromas are released.


These squat glasses are functional rather than graceful with gently sloping straight sides and a wide mouth that promotes a sip rather than a glug. Sipping the beer means that it hits the front of the tongue first so any sweetness in the beer will register.

A German style that is tall, slender and flared at the top ideal for accentuating the cloudy appearance of a wheat beer and for a voluptuous head formation.

Wine Glass

An ideal wine glass for beer is one with a tapered mouth that releases aromas.

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