Types Of Beer Glasses

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When serving beer at your bar, brewery, or restaurant, it’s important to use glassware that complements a customer’s drink. Using the proper beer glass can help preserve the foam head of a beer or bring out the unique flavors and aroma of your ales. In this informative guide, we breakdown the differences between each beer glass and the beers that they complement the most.

Why Does Beer Taste Better In A Glass vs. A Bottle?

To enhance your customers’ beer-drinking experience, it’s best to serve their cold brew in a glass specifically designed for serving beer. Pouring beer into one of these uniquely shaped glasses activates its carbonation and creates a foamy head. The head consists of tiny bubbles that are constantly popping as the beer sits in the glass. Each bubble that pops releases aroma and brings out the unique flavors of the drink.

Should I Chill Beer Glasses?

Serving craft beer in a chilled or frozen glass may seem like a good idea because it keeps it colder for longer. However, chilled glasses can have a huge influence on the taste of certain beers. Pouring beer into frosted glasses dilutes the beer, reducing the perception of the different hops and flavors used in the brewing process. Chilled glasses can also affect taste by hiding the nuances and complexities in the ingredients, therefore changing the overall character of beers.

Different Types Of Beer Glasses

There are a number of beer glasses out on the market. Each glass features a unique style and shape to make the aromatic compounds of a beer stand out. To ensure customers are able to enjoy the flavors of their beer, it’s important to understand how each beer glass is different and which beers they best compliment.

Beer Mug

When your customers order a beer, it’s likely that they picture it being served in a beer mug. This drinking vessel is extremely popular because it’s commonly used to serve all types of beer at restaurants, sports grills, and Oktoberfest celebrations. Beer mugs feature thick walls that help insulate beers to guarantee your guests enjoy every sip. They also have a built-in handle that allows guests to comfortably enjoy their beverages and clink glasses together with other beer drinkers.

Some beer mugs feature a dimpled pattern throughout the glass. The dimpled pattern is designed to enhance the looks of beers and allow patrons to appreciate the color and clarity of the drink.

Beer Mug Capacity

  • 10 to 36 ounces

Beer Mugs Are Best For:

  • Wheat beers
  • Lagers
  • Stouts
  • Porters

Pint Glass

Pint glasses are known for their versatility because they are commonly used to serve ales, lagers, sodas, waters, and other types of refreshments. They typically have a heavy base and tapered sides that release the full aroma of beers. The majority of businesses use these glasses because they are stackable for simple storage and easy to clean after use.

Pint Glass Capacity

  • 16 ounces

Pint Glasses Are Best For:

  • Lagers
  • Ales
  • IPAs
  • Stouts
  • Porters

Pilsner Glass

Pilsner glasses are typically tall and thin with straight sides. The tapered design brilliantly displays the colors and carbonation bubbles of lighter beers. With a slightly wide mouth, these glasses help retain the foam head and develop the delicate aromas of light beers. These glasses are available in a variety of sizes and are designed to hold less beer than pint glasses.

Pilsner Glass Capacity

  • 10 to 14 ounces

Pilsner Glasses Are Best For:

  • Pilsners
  • Pale Lagers
  • Blonde Ales
  • Hefeweizens

Weizen Glass

Weizen glasses are oftentimes confused with pilsner glasses because both are tall and narrow. However, these glasses have more of a defined curvature at the top and are generally larger than pilsner glasses. Weizen glasses have a curved lip that traps thick foam heads, allowing guests to enjoy the full aroma and flavor from wheat beers. The tapered bottom helps prevent yeast from reaching the mouth of the glass.

While it’s popular for bars and restaurants to stick a piece of fruit on the rim of weizen glasses to complement the beer’s flavor, it can actually ruin the beer’s foam head. Consider serving wheat beers without a garnish to ensure guests can fully capture the aroma and flavor of their beverage.

Weizen Glass Capacity

  • 16 to 18 ounces

Weizen Glasses Are Best For:

  • Wheat Ales
  • Hefeweizens
  • Weizenbocks
  • Kristalweizens

Stange Glass

Stange glasses originated in Germany and contained up to 6.5 ounces of light beer. In the past, this beer glass had a small capacity because the beer served was supposed to be consumed quickly. Its small size and narrow design also intensified the aroma and flavors of beers.

Stange glasses have evolved over the years and today you can find glasses that can contain up to 12 ounces. They are typically long and narrow and made for a light, crisp beer with low carbonation.

Stange Glass Capacity

  • 8 to 18 ounces

Stange Glasses Are Best For:

  • Kolsch
  • Lambic
  • Rye Beers
  • Bocks

Beer Goblet

Beer goblets feature thick stems and large bowls, making them perfect for beers with high alcohol content. The wide mouth of goblets allows customers to comfortably sip heavy beers and easily analyze the aromas and flavor profile of their beverage. Many goblet glasses have an etching on the bottom of the bowl that forces carbonation upward to help maintain the beer’s head.

Beer Goblet Capacity

  • 8 to 18 ounces

Beer Goblets Are Best For:

  • Sour Ales
  • Belgian Ales
  • German Bocks
  • IPAs


Snifters are commonly used for tasting brandy and cognac but are also ideal for serving beer with high alcohol content and aroma. The stem of this glass allows patrons to effortlessly swirl their beer around to bring out the full aroma of beers. With a big bowl that tapers at the top, this type of glassware traps the volatiles and directs the aroma towards customers’ noses to enhance their tasting experience.

Snifter Glass Capacity

  • 6 to 22 ounces

Snifter Glasses Are Best For:

  • IPAs
  • Belgian Ales
  • Stouts

Tulip Glasses

Tulip glasses have a small stem and a tulip-shaped bowl that enhances the flavors of hoppy and malty beers. This glass has a flared lip that retains froth and carbonation to maintain the foam head of beverages. Similar to snifters, tulip glasses feature stems that provide guests with an easy way to swirl their glasses to bring out the subtle characteristic of heavy drinks. Tulip glasses also allow patrons to hold the glass by the stem to prevent their hands from warming the beer.

Tulip Glass Capacity

  • 8 to 18 ounces

Tulip Glasses Are Best For:

  • IPAs
  • Scottish Ales
  • Belgian Ales
  • Sour Ales

It’s Time To Serve Beer The Proper Way

Next time a customer orders a beer, remember to serve it in the proper glassware. Each type of craft beer glass has a unique shape and style that is designed to accentuate the flavors and aroma of certain beers. Using the proper glassware provides customers with the best beer-drinking experience which means they’ll leave your establishment satisfied.

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