More than simply a vessel for conveying liquid, the beer glass can be manufactured in a multitude of styles and is designed to maximise the enjoyment of certain characteristics in your beer.
Beer lovers have never known a better time to sample different varieties in the wake of the craft movement. Some landlords have embraced beer’s multiplicity and have a range of glasses while others have yet to do so. Those that want to showcase the beer on offer and allow customers to enjoy its complex aromas and flavours, just as the brewer intended, can select a glass that will accentuate character.
The Nonic Glass
A quintessentially English icon of the pub world, having supplanted the dimpled, handled jug and trusted workhorse for many hostelries around the country is the Nonic glass. Featuring a bulbous protrusion beneath the rim to make it easy to stack and holding one imperial pint, expect to be served anything from lager or bitter to a stout, even porter, in one of these if the landlord has yet to embrace the possibilities of other glass varieties.
The Tulip Glass
The Tulip Pint glass is commonly seen around the UK and Ireland, you’ll often be served a stout or porter in one of these. Flaring out from the middle to a wide rim means that it is perfect for a creamy head with little carbonation. The stemmed variety of the Tulip is designed to maximise the flavour of bold varieties such as an IPA or APA and to retain a good head. If you order a third or two thirds of pint it will often be a stemmed Tulip style glass. This way of avoiding pint-fuelled intoxication has become very popular in recent years allowing the beer lover to enjoy a drink or two without the morning regret.
The Wheat Beer Glass or Weizen Glass
This style of glass is much taller than most owing to the additional carbonation, and therefore larger head, associated with wheat beers. The sturdy narrow base curves outwards before narrowing slightly again to a lip that is designed to hold onto and maximise the drinkers appreciation of the aroma.
The IPA Glass
A bit of an anomaly in the glass world and one that shows how far we have come in the true appreciation of a beer’s character. The ‘B’ shaped bottom is designed to be comfortable when holding externally and also to agitate the CO2 in the base of the drink internally. The upper bulb of the glass tapers to trap aromas; this is a craft glass for craft beer.
Fans of big Belgian ales or strong German lagers will be familiar with the Goblet. Stemmed at the base and opening to a wide, bowl-like mouth, this is a glass for sippers rather than guzzlers. Sturdier examples are sometimes referred to as Chalices but both convey a certain elegance. Enjoy a Chimay or Orval when you are next in Belgium and simply blend in with your surroundings.
It would be nice if you could get away with drinking beer from one of these without snorts of derision from your drinking companions however we couldn’t possibly guarantee that. Designed to focus aromas directly into your nose as you drink, the flute is, as you’d expect, in precisely the manner of the champagne version. Flutes are actually ideal for fruit beers or very strong beers which preclude pint measures.
Drinking beer out of a glass shape usually associated with brandy is another way of directing aromas to your nose and swilling your beer around the wide bowl of the glass as you would a fine Cognac actually performs the same function. The snifter is perfect for the stronger ale, wheat beers, imperial stouts or barley wine.
Sheer function over aesthetics has produced the Shaker; easy to clean, store and replace. It offers no discernible benefit for the flavour of the beer but is commonly used to serve session lagers and ales of many types.
Glassware is an important part of beer enjoyment and licensees in bars or restaurants are expected to provide a premium experience. At Beer Piper we support our customers with the very best means of maintaining their establishments, from pristine beer lines achieved through our innovative and effective beer line cleaning system to the recommended range of glass cleaning detergent (available to order for Beer Piper customers).
If you are still wasting beer on your weekly line clean and your glassware gives you cause for concern, contact us today.