Lots more people are coming to appreciate the breadths of flavours and sensations that can come from good beer. As with wine, any beer connoisseur will tell you that the type of glass that the beer comes in is non-negotiable if the drink is to be appreciated fully. We’re going to take a look at some of these different glasses, what beers should be served in them, and how they can affect the beer drinking experience.
Imperial Conical / Nonic Pint
This is the type of glass most often seen in bars and pubs in Europe, the standard ‘pint glass’. The conical has straight sides that flare out from the base and is sometimes called a shaker glass because it can be used as one half of a cocktail shaker. The nonic is very similar, but swells out and back in near the top, this makes it easier to hold also encourages the formation of foam on top of the beer, to give it a good head; for this reason, the nonic is perfect for stouts and creamier beers. These glasses are designed to be strong, easy to clean and cheap to replace, but not to accentuate any particular nuances or flavours, so these are best for simpler and less exotic beers like pale ales, amber ales, and lagers.
This is a glass that has a dramatic curve inwards near the rim, as well as a stem to hold it with. The shape of the glass works to trap the aromas of the beer to assist in unpacking the complex flavours, and the stem prevents the hands from warming the beer too much as it is drunk. The tulip glass is very good for nuanced beers, like bottle conditioned saisons, as well as highly carbonated beers, as the effervescence is able to remain undisturbed in the bowl of the glass.
This glass is very similar to the stemmed tulip, but has a lower and wider profile, as well as a reduced volume. It is designed to be cupped, allowing your hands to warm up the glass and the beer, releasing some of the more complex notes. You can also swirl the beer to activate some of the flavours trapped within. Snifters are perfect for higher alcohol beers, as the lower volume means that alcohol intake is regulated, allowing you to enjoy the beer over time, so this is recommended for beers over 8% ABV, like Belgian tripels, imperial stouts, and lambics.
These large mugs are all about being able to take your time, and hold a large volume of beer. The handle prevents your body temperature from affecting the temperature of the beer, and the thick walls mean that the drink stays the correct temperature for longer. These design features means much fewer trips to the bar, but also ample opportunity to over-indulge, so these are best for low alcohol brews like fruit beers, pilsners, blondes and bitters.
Whatever your favoured beer, you can select the correct glass for each, as they can all be washed with ease. Just place them on the top shelf, rim down, and sure they’re not touching each other, as the washing process can sometimes make them knock together. For stemmed glasses this shelf can usually be lowered to make sure that they fit for added glass protection. Finish Quantum Max Shine and Protect helps ensure that they come out clean, sparkling and protected from cloudiness. So all you have to do is sit back and enjoy whatever beer takes your fancy – in the correct glass of course.