You wouldn't serve soup on a plate, you don't serve sandwiches in a teacup, and you wouldn't dream of serving a Russian Imperial Stout in a pilsner glass. All right, maybe that last one didn't make quite as much sense as the first two. That's okay; this guide and the video below will boost your beer I.Q. and help you figure out the types of beer glasses you need to serve different types of beer!
|Beer growlers, ceramic jugs used to transport beer, have become a very popular method of beer sampling. When a beer is on tap, a growler permits the customer to take home a substantial quantity of the brew. Typically made of glass with either a screw-on cap or hinged porcelain gasket cap, beer growlers can keep beers perfectly fresh for more than a week! Growlers effectively transport any type of beer, and are a great investment if customers are looking to take home your brew. Though any type of beer can be put in a growler, they are most often used to transport craft or specialty beers, including ales and lagers.
|Beer Sampler Glasses and Beer Paddles|
|Often, you'll find that customers wish to sample several of the delicious beers you have on tap. This is when having a concrete method of beer sampling comes in handy. One of the most popular beer sampling methods is the use of a sampler paddle, which simultaneously exhibits multiple beers on a wooden paddle for customers to taste. Customers can then sample each of the beers and determine which they like best. Obviously, any beer can be put in a sampler glass and placed on a paddle, though fine craft beers are the most popular samples. The types of glasses used for sampling beers are usually, though not always, between the size of a shot glass and a regular beer glass.
|These types of beers boast complex tastes and aromas are often darker and heavier than other varieties. They also tend to have a thick, heavy head, and are often consumed at a slightly slower rate than lighter beers. To protect the rich flavors and aromas, a bulbous, sometimes tulip-shaped glass is ideal. A higher sip to gulp ratio in Belgian beers often requires smaller glass shapes, which lend themselves to more intricate designs than other beer glass styles.
|Mugs and steins stand out from other types of beer glasses because of the mood they give the beer drinker; their historical use as beer glasses makes them popular souvenirs. The beers that fill these glasses include traditional, medium alcohol-level ales and lagers that are not as filling as heavy stouts or Belgian beers. Although plenty of beers in this category have strong, hoppy attributes, they still have more straightforward, bold tastes rather than complex, multi-faceted smells and flavors. Since there doesn't have to be a focus on retaining understated smells and flavors, glass-shapes can be more simple, open, and cylindrical. These beers are typically served in glasses that are durable, have a large capacity, have handles, and have large openings for sizable gulps; they can be served in large quantities without sacrificing taste-quality.
|Beers in this category include low to medium alcohol-level pilsners, ales, and lagers that are light, low on hop flavor, and refreshing. Heads on these beers are deep, but also airy and foamy. Carbonation and sparkling colors should be shown off with long slender glasses that highlight the bubbles rising from the bottom to the top. This beer is best served in a glass that tapers gradually as it reaches the top, lending itself to smooth, easy drinkability.
|Beers in this category include traditional, medium alcohol-level ales and lagers that are not as filling as heavy stouts or Belgian beers. The glasses that these beers go in are the most common pint glasses on the market, serving as an old standby when a versatile glass is needed. The heads on these beers should be small to medium, so the glass-shape need not promote the carbonation. Although plenty of beers in this category have strong, hoppy attributes, they still have more straightforward, bold tastes rather than complex, multi-faceted smells and flavors. Since there doesn't have to be a focus on retaining understated smells and flavors, glass-shapes can be more simple, open, and cylindrical. These beers should be served in glasses that are durable, have a large capacity, and have large openings for sizable gulps; they can be served in large quantities without sacrificing taste-quality. These glasses are also ideal for mixing drinks.
|The sky is pretty much the limit with specialty glasses. Yard glasses, boots, and other giant glassware are, as you might expect, typically used for serving large quantities of beer (often at special events and parties). Generally, you want to stick with beers that are suitable for consumption in large volumes and that won't have excessively thick heads or overly malty/hoppy flavors. Many of the beers you might serve in mugs, steins, and pint glasses (such as ales, lagers, and pilsners) are your best bets here.|
|These beers are in the mid to high levels when it comes to color and alcohol content. Flavors of these beers have some depth and fragrance to them, but not intense hoppiness. These beers should have a medium-sized head that still needs a relatively large opening on the top of the glass to accommodate it. Glass shapes that are more slender and tall than standard goblet or snifters work best.