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ultimate guide to types of beer glasses

The Ultimate Guide to Types of Beer Glasses

Not to be confused with beer goggles, which come as a result of drinking, beer glasses are the actual vessels from which you drink. To further elucidate, if you drink from enough beer glasses then you might very well find yourself wearing beer goggles. Hope that helps. In any case, like beer itself, beer glasses come in different styles. Each glass style or shape is designed primarily to accommodate either the specific character of the beer or the specific character drinking the beer. And if you think beer glass shapes don’t matter, you’re sorely mistaken. Please review our guide to beer glasses and start optimising those suds post haste.

This article is part of our Brews & Bottles Series.

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snifter glass


Kicking off our guide to beer glasses is the elegant snifter. 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. Fill it with a complex Belgian ale or dark stout and enjoy accordingly.


tulip flower type glass


This fat-bottomed, delicate flower of a 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 keeps the flavours and aromas from escaping. Like the snifter, this one goes well with something strong and complex.


goblet glass of king


As the glass of kings, there’s little room for subtlety with the almighty goblet. It hosts a thick stem and thick body and goes best with strong Belgian ales. All that sturdy glass supports heaps of foam while keeping the beer cold and carbonated for long stretches of time.


pilsner sexy glass

Pilsner Glass

Tall and sexy, the pilsner glass is often likened to a champagne glass with no stem. In keeping with that theme, the pilsner glass duly upholds a refined aesthetic while assisting with carbonation. Pair it with a vibrant, bubbly and colourful beer like a fruity lambic or brown maibock. Given the name, a nice golden pilsner would go wonderfully in this glass as well.


weizen vase

Weizen Vase

With its wide head and narrow base, the weizen vase is similar to a pilsner glass, but with rounder curves. Weizen is German for “wheat” and so the glass itself is practically asking to be filled with a good Hefe or wheat ale.


stein look at the mighty stein


One look at the mighty stein and you know you’re in serious drinking territory. It’s all kinds of thick and roomy and pretty much recognised worldwide as the way real Germans (aka real beer drinkers) like to take their brew. Grab it by the handle so your beer stays cold and take a hearty sip of a good pilsner, lager, ale or anything that’s not too strong but not weak either. Then wipe the foam off your lips and keep drinking because these beasts can hold a lot of beer.


nonic pint

Nonic Pint

Outside of Germany, it’s the cylindrical pint glass that’s taken off in Europe and elsewhere. The nonic variation offers a slight bulge at the top that lends the glass an approachable vibe and also keeps it from chipping. The wide mouth holds foam admirably. Find a tasty beer that’s not too strong and fill ‘er up–a solid IPA will do just fine.


shaker pint

Shaker Pint

Originally used to mix cocktails in conjunction with a shaker, the ubiquitous shaker pint glass has branched off to do its own thing. And by own thing we mean hold beer. With its completely straightforward design, the shaker pint is known 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, but nevertheless flavourful brewskies like lagers, pilsners, IPAs, etc, etc.


tulip pint beer glass

Tulip Pint

Modern, tall, and a little curvy, the tulip pint glass is frequently given out by breweries during promotional campaigns. Guinness is apparently a big fan of the tulip pint. As with the other pint entires in our guide to beer glasses, you know exactly what to put in here: pretty much anything that doesn’t demand a heightened attention to detail.


seidel popular german glass


Like the stein, the Seidel is a popular German glass that’s thick, heavy and roomy. It was built to hold lots of beer and deliver copious amounts of hearty gulping. Fill it to the brim with a delicious German pilsner, bock or lager and start pounding beer like the champion you are.

This article is part of our Brews & Bottles Series.

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You may also like:
The Ultimate Guide to Beer Types & Styles
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Jacob Osborn

Jacob Osborn is an accomplished author and journalist with over 10 years of experience in the media industry. He holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin--Madison and co-authored a Young Adult novel through Simon & Schuster. Now based in Portland, Oregon, Jacob specialises in entertainment, technology and alcohol reporting. You might find him crate-digging at the nearest record store or sampling whisky at the nearest bar. He daydreams of travelling around the world, but for now, the world will have to come to him by way of lifestyle products, gear, gadgetry, and entertainment. Let's call it a happy compromise while he saves up for the next big trip.