Which glassware is better for beer presentation is mostly a matter of judgment, often subject to the passions of
aficionados. Some Belgian brewers, for example, have gone to the extent of producing their fermented concoctions
according to the way the serving wares are designed. But, putting such delightful extremism aside, there really are
factors that impact the taste and aroma of your favorite beer.
Some basic guidelines, mostly having to do with cleaning, are in order. Wash the glasses by hand in warm water
and rinse thoroughly. If possible, don’t use dishwashers as they tend to leave soap residue. Let the glasses stand
and dry in the air. Hand towels, especially those made of paper, also leave tiny fragments of their material in the
Frosting the glass is a no-no for some purists. They want to avoid introducing moisture that may result from a
change in temperature, although the slight difference it makes is hardly noticeable.
Popular Beer Glass Styles
Let us now take a look at some of the better known types of beer vessels.
The dimpled German Seidel, or traditional stein, are found in bars almost anywhere. This particular beer
glassware comes with a lid, and is strictly speaking, made of stone, not glass. This heavy-duty mug can hold large
quantities of beer, a boon to guzzlers.
Known in most parts of the world, the Pilsner is a slender, tapered glass that usually holds around 12 ounces of
brew. One version, the Pokal, has a slightly longer stem. The Weizen glass is similar, only it is curved, instead
of tapered and upright. It is named for the Weizenbier, a Bavarian beer. Its capacity ranges from 16 ounces to a
Beer presentation with both Pilsner and Weizen is appealing. These two beer glassware allow good viewing of the
brew’s color and carbonation. Their shapes are conducive to retention of froth head and evaporation of volatile
compounds, making enjoyment of aroma, a practice within the province of wine tasting, a possibility.
The Pint Glass, or Becker, is tall, round like a tumbler, and thin-walled. This traditional English beer glass
can contain a man-sized serving of brew, but the drinker might have to content himself (or herself) with taking his
beer warm. This is because this beer glass has a wide mouth and thin walls, making it easy for a cold serving to
turn lukewarm in a short time. Also, because of the wide mouth, foam head and volatiles vanish a little more
quickly than is desirable. Of course, the inebriated drinker won’t notice.
Lesser Known Beer Glassware
There are other, lesser known vessel styles that do justice to beer. One of these is the Stange, a traditional,
German style of beer glass. Shaped like a straight cylinder, the Stange is good at concentrating volatile
compounds, which results in an exhilarating aroma. Beer enthusiasts will find it easy to assess the intricacies of
malt and hop using these serving glasses.
Though designed for liquor, snifters have also been used to serve beer. The narrowed opening of these glasses
will help specialists detect concentrated aromas. Ideal for strong ales such as Barley Wine, snifters enhance the
olfactory experience that the blend of malt and alcohol provide -- a fitting complement to the excellent taste of
Serving the Beer
No matter the kind of glassware used, beer should be served fresh and at an appropriate temperature. Lagers can
be served colder, between 7°C and 10°C (45°F-50°F), while ales can be as warm as room temperature, or 18°C