Believe it or not--, when you are drinking beer, using the right type of glass for the right type of beer makes a huge difference. Why? Well, unlike wine, which needs aeration, beer does not. In fact, the more carbonation it looses, the flatter the beer will taste. So keeping those sweet bubbles in matters more than air getting in the glass.
However, the shape of the glass impacts the amount of smell that reaches your nostrils. This aroma has a big impact on taste, and can even mask the taste of something “off” in the beer. This may be why even cheap beer, served in the right glass, tastes just fine to some people.
There are three parts of the glass that matter:
Here are some different kinds of beer, and the custom beer glasses and barware that should be used with them.
A pilsner is a lager style beer, usually with lots of hops smell and flavor. The term originally applied to beer made in Pilsen in Bohemia, or what is now the Czech Republic. The term now applies to all beer made in this style.
A pilsner glass shows off the sparkling and clear properties of this beer, and the thin neck helps retain carbonation and delivers the often fruity smell to your nose. Check out these custom pilsner glasses here.
Belgian beers, originally created in Belgium, are more of an Ale than a lager. They are darker, and have heavy malt and yeast flavors, often with some fruity taste thrown in as well.
They come in various different types, each with a distinct taste.
Belgian beers are best served in a stemmed, round bottomed glass with a narrow rim. This keeps in the carbonation, and delivers the rich smell to your nostrils as you drink. Check out these customizable Belgian glasses here.
The term IPA, or India Pale Ale, came from the practice of adding extra hops to a barrel being transported by sea from England to India. The extra hops helped to preserve the beer from spoiling during the voyage.
This gives the tangy, almost sour taste that categorizes IPA style beers. This heavy hop taste has grown in popularity with the craft beer revolution. A narrow top and a heavy, open bottom Characterize a typical IPA glass.
Pint glasses are used for all styles of beer, usually absent a specific glass. A pint glass is good for stout and dark beers, and most others as well.
A pint glass also has great commercial uses. Used by bars everywhere, they’re a great receptacle for all kinds of beers, ciders, and even mead. They hold a pint almost exactly, so serving sizes are equal and easy to measure.
Classic pint glasses also complement a home bar well, and make great branded gifts, or even branded glassware you can sell.
For outdoor events, metal pint glasses make a great alternative to glass, and avoid the hazards of breakage.
Tasters are designed to be just that. Whether you are at a brewery trying a variety or a flight of beers or at a beer tasting event, tasters give you a small portion of beer. These glasses can help you decide if you want a larger glass, or if you like a type of beer at all.
They’re usually 5 ounces or smaller, but can be had in a variety of shapes similar to those mentioned above, from a mini-IPA taster to a pilsner style taster. Like others, branded tasters make a great gift, marketing tool, or something to give away at events and parties.
What beer glass is right for you? The one that fits the beer, and the situation you are in. From Belgian and IPAs to Pilsners, Pints, even pitchers and jugs, you’re sure to find the right branded drinkware for you and your company’s needs. Want to learn more about the different types of beer glasses? Take a look at our guide to different types of beer glasses here.