Types of beer glasses 1

The Complete Guide to Beer Glasses

There are four main types of beer glasses; Pint glasses, Tulip-style glasses, those with handles and specialty beer glasses for holding a special type of beer inside. In any case, like the wonderful beer itself, each glass size, style or shape is designed to accommodate either the specific character of the beer or the specific character drinking the beer. And if you think these shapes don’t matter, you’re sorely mistaken. Check out our guide to beer glasses, choose your desired glass, and start optimising those suds as soon as possible.

Types of beer glasses pint glasses
Types of Pint Glasses | Image: Supplied

1. Pint Glasses

Imperial Pint

Also known as the Nonic Pint Glass, Australians will be familiar with the cylindrical shape of this glass and the bulge that helps clumsy beer drinkers from spilling the contents inside. Of course, the wide mouth holds foam admirably and we recommend choosing a beer that’s not too strong to drink out of this one. Think of a beer type along the lines of an India Pacific Ale and you’ll be sorted. Unlike the 16-ounce American pint, the imperial pint holds a full 20 ounces or 590ml.

Recommended beer style: Pale ale, India Pacific Ale, Australian Pacific Ale.
Size of the glass: 590ml (20 ounces).

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Shaker Pint

Also known as the American Pint Glass, the Shaker Pint sits down the pecking order from the Imperial Pint Glass thanks to its tapered sides and smaller size. You’ll struggle to find a pub in Australia that utilises these glasses, although we’ve spotted a few sneaky venues trying to short-change us recently as they’re noticeably smaller than the Imperial Pint 16 ounces vs. 20 ounces.

Originally used to mix cocktails in conjunction with a shaker, the ubiquitous glass has branched off as a cheap but dependable beer glass that allows bars to add some dollars to their bottom line. It’s therefore no wonder that the shaker pint glass is most popular in America. Like the nonic pint glass, the shaker goes best with uncomplicated beers such as lagers, pilsners, and more traditional ales.

Recommended beer style: Lagers, Pilsners, traditional Ales.
Size of the glass: 470ml (16 ounces).

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Tulip Pint

Modern, tall, and great for Guinness, the Tulip Pint glass is frequently given out by breweries during promotional campaigns. We’re big fans of the size of the glass and its form-meets-function design philosophy. Unlike the aforementioned pint glasses, we recommend drinking dark ales, stouts, and porters in this glass due to the wider opening mouth.

Recommended beer style: Porter, Stout, and Guinness.
Size of the glass: 590ml (20 ounces).

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Related: Best Non-Alcoholic Beers to Drink Yourself Sensible

Types of beer glasses tulip style glasses
Types of Tulip-style Glasses | Image: Supplied

2. Tulip-Style Glasses

Snifter Glass

Whisky fans will notice the shape of the classic snifter glass, but in this case, it’s repurposed for beer, resulting in a larger and heavier in hand. Everything about the snifter – which bulges rotundly at the base and narrows toward the top – is designed to preserve the dense layer of foam and rich aromatics of your premium beer. We recommend filling it with a complex Belgian Ale, Dark Stout, or Russian Imperial Porter.

If the snifter glass isn’t extreme enough, check out the Thistle Glass, a version that resembles Scotland’s national flower.

Recommended beer style: Belgian Ale, Dark Stout, and Russian Imperial Porter.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 300ml (11 ounces) to 590ml (20 ounces) depending on the brand.

Buy it here (Catch) Buy it here (Rinkit) Buy it here (Bormioli)

Belgian Glass

This fat-bottomed, delicate flower of glass sits (like a flower) atop a stem so that you may hold it without warming your beer. With its narrow mid-section and wide mouth, the tulip is designed to ably retain a thick and creamy layer of foam. That curvy body and wide mouth also keep the flavours and aromas from escaping. Like the snifter, this one goes well with something strong and complex.

Recommended beer style: Belgian Ale, Dark Stout, and Russian Imperial Porter.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 470ml (16 ounces) to 590ml (20 ounces) depending on the brand.

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Goblet or Chalice Glass

Similar to the Snifter glass, the Goblet is the glass of kings so there’s little room for subtlety. These glasses host a thick stem and body which pairs well with a strong Belgian Ales. All that sturdy glass supports heaps of foam while keeping the beer cold and carbonated for long stretches of time. The only difference between the Goblet and Chalice and the thickness of the glass itself, with the Chalice typically made of a thinner material.

Recommended beer style: Belgian Ales, Dark Stout, and Russian Imperial Porter.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 300ml (11 ounces) to 590ml (20 ounces) depending on the brand.

Buy it here (Beer Cartel) Buy it here (Purvis Beer) Buy it here (etsy)

Related: Best West Coast IPAs For Fans of Pine

Types of beer glasses beer glasses with handles
Types of Beer Glasses With Handles | Image: Supplied

3. Beer Glasses With Handles

Stein

Also referred to as the Beer Mug, one look at the mighty stein and you know you’re in serious drinking territory. Lift one up and you’ll be impressed by the thickness, girth, and roomy size of the glass. This is the way Germans (aka real beer drinkers) like to drink their brew. Grab it by the handle so your beer stays cold and take a hearty sip of a good pilsner, lager, ale or any other quality malted beer. Then wipe the foam off your lips and keep drinking because these beasts can hold a lot of beer.

Recommended beer style: Lagers, Pilsners, and traditional Ales.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 470ml (16 ounces) to 1000ml (33 ounces) depending on the brand.

Buy it here (Beer Cartel) Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Barware)

Seidel or Dimpled Mug

Like the stein, the Seidel is a popular German beer glass that’s thick, heavy and roomy. Above all, this is made to hold a lot of beer, with glasses ranging up to 1000ml (33 ounces) depending on where you’re drinking. We like to fill these glasses to the brim with a German pilsner, bock or lager and start pounding beer like the champion you are.

Recommended beer style: German Pilsner, Bock, and Lager.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 470ml (16 ounces) to 1000ml (33 ounces) depending on the brand.

Buy it here (Beer Cartel) Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Barware)

Related: Best Pale Ale Beers to Crack Open

Types of beer glasses specialty beer glasses
Types of Specialty Beer Glasses | Image: Supplied

4. Specialty Beer Glasses

Pilsner Glass

Tall, good-looking, and rather sexy if we say so ourselves, the Pilsner Glass is often likened to a champagne glass with no stem. In keeping with that theme, this glass duly upholds a refined aesthetic while assisting with carbonation. Pair it with a vibrant, bubbly and colourful beer like a fruity Lambic, Brown Maibock, or even better, a Saison. Given the name, a nice golden pilsner would go wonderfully in this glass as well.

Recommended beer style: Lambic, Maibock, Saison, and obviously, Pilsner.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 200ml (7 ounces) to 400ml (14 ounces) depending on the brand.

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Flute Glass

The smallest of all the beer glasses, the flute glass holds anywhere from 160ml to 250ml of beer so we’d save this for only the best European beers on the market. Think of everything from a German Lambi to a fruity Saison. Of course, the shape will at least give the impression that you’re drinking something special no matter what you pour into the glass.

Recommended beer style: German Lambics and Fruity Beers from Europe.
Size of the glass: Ranging from 160ml (5 ounces) to 250ml (8 ounces) depending on the brand.

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Wheat Beer Glass

Similar to a Pilsner Glass, the Wheat Beer glass or ‘Weizenbier Glass’ has a wider head and narrower base, than the aforementioned Pilsner. This is a specialty beer glass as we recommend only drinking Wheat Beer out of this one, however, there’s no reason you couldn’t experiment with a Hefe or wheat ale here either.

Recommended beer style: Wheat beer, Hefeweizen, and Wheat Ale.
Size of the glass: 470ml (16 ounces).

Buy it here (Beer Cartel) Buy it here (Dan Murphy’s) Buy it here (Kitchen Warehouse)

Das Boot or Beer Boot

Legend says that a Prussian general promised to drink from his boot if his troops won on the battlefield, and thus the legend of the Das Boot became reality. While we don’t often come across these in Australia, YouTube personality BadlandsChugs has brought the 2-litre masterpiece to pop culture with his ‘Chugs’ that showcase the vast potential of the drinking instrument. Drink whatever makes you happy out of this one, in the case of old mate Chugs, that often means various flavours of Sprite.

Recommended beer style: Märzen or ‘Oktoberfest Beer’, Witbier, and Dunkel.
Size of the glass: 2000ml, 2 litres, (66 ounces).

Buy it here (German Steins) Buy it here (Beer Cartel) Buy it here (etsy)

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Ben McKimm
Journalist - Automotive & Tech

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.