Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beer Glasses

An Interesting Read from BA

Glassware for Beer


So what's in a beer glass? Hopefully beer, but there's much more to be found. Though some beer novices say "the vast majority of glassware is just marketing," this couldn't be further from the truth. As BeerAdvocates, we feel that beer drinkers deserve better than this. So here's the real deal ...

Sure, there's a marketing component to beer glassware, but one only needs to look beyond the branding to discover that something bigger is taking place. As soon as the beer hits the glass, its color, aroma and taste is altered, your eye candy receptors tune in, and your anticipation is tweaked. Hidden nuances, become more pronounced, colors shimmer, and the enjoyment of the beer simply becomes a better, more complete, experience.

Still think it's just marketing? Well the sophomoric pun "head is good" has a mature side. Scientific studies show that the shape of glassware will impact head development and retention. Why is this important? The foam created by pouring a beer acts as a net for many of the volatiles in a beer. What's a volatile? Compounds that evaporate from beer to create its aroma, such as hop oils, all kinds of yeast fermentation byproducts like alcohol, fusels and fruity esters, spices or other additions. So a glass that promotes a healthy foam head may enhance the trapping of certain volatiles. And as varying levels of head retention and presentation are desired with different styles of beers, different styles of glassware should be used accordingly. Presentation marries science.

So which glassware do you use? The answer can often be overwhelming. In Europe, especially Belgium, each brand of beer will often have its own glass. In fact, some breweries have been known to engineer the glass before the beer, and many bars will also stock unique glassware for every brand of beer they serve, which could be hundreds or thousands. And while it's always a good idea to use glassware designed by the brewery for a specific brand of beer, sometimes this is not an option. But fret not! We've complied a quick guide of recommended glassware that will cover most beers and arm you with a very versatile arsenal of glassware.


Flute Glass



The world of champagne lends elegance to certain types of beer. Long and narrow bodies ensure that carbonation doesn't dissipate too quickly and showcase a lively carbonation or sparkling color. Stems will often be a bit shorter than the traditional champagne glass, but not necessarily.

Benefits: Enhances and showcases carbonation. Releases volatiles quickly for a more intense upfront aroma.
Use with these Beer Styles:

American Wild Ale

Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut

Bock

Czech Pilsener

Dortmunder / Export Lager

Eisbock

Euro Strong Lager

Faro

Flanders Oud Bruin

Flanders Red Ale

German Pilsener

Gueuze

Lambic - Fruit

Lambic - Unblended

Maibock / Helles Bock

Munich Dunkel Lager

Munich Helles Lager

Schwarzbier

Vienna Lager

Weizenbock



Goblet (or Chalice)



Majestic pieces of work, ranging from delicate and long stemmed (Goblet) to heavy and thick walled (Chalice). The more delicate ones may also have their rims laced with silver or gold, while the heavy boast sculpture-like stems. Some are designed to maintain a 2-centimeter head. This is achieved by scoring the inside bottom of the glass, which creates a CO2 nucleation point, and a stream of eternal bubbles and perfect head retention as a result.



Benefits: Eye candy. Designed to maintain head. Wide-mouthed for deep sips.



Use with these Beer Styles:

Belgian IPA

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Berliner Weissbier

Dubbel

Quadrupel (Quad)

Tripel



Mug (or Seidel, Stein)


 
Heavy, sturdy, large and with handle, the mug is a fun and serious piece of glassware that comes in many sizes and shapes. The best part of using a mug is that you can clink them together with more confidence than other types of glassware, and they hold loads of beer. Seidel is a German mug, while a Stein is the stone equivalent that traditionally features a lid, the use of which dates back to the Black Plague to prevent flies from dropping in.



Benefits: Easy to drink out of. Holds plenty of volume.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Amber / Red Ale

American Amber / Red Lager

American Blonde Ale

American Brown Ale

American Dark Wheat Ale

American IPA

American Malt Liquor

American Pale Ale (APA)

American Pale Wheat Ale

American Porter

American Stout

American Strong Ale

Baltic Porter

Black & Tan

Bock

California Common / Steam Beer

Chile Beer

Cream Ale

Czech Pilsener

Doppelbock

English Bitter

English Brown Ale

English Dark Mild Ale

English India Pale Ale (IPA)

English Porter

English Stout

English Strong Ale

Euro Dark Lager

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Fruit / Vegetable Beer

German Pilsener

Herbed / Spiced Beer

Irish Dry Stout

Irish Red Ale

Keller Bier / Zwickel Bier

Maibock / Helles Bock

Milk / Sweet Stout

Märzen / Oktoberfest

Oatmeal Stout

Rauchbier

Roggenbier

Sahti

Scottish Ale

Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Smoked Beer

Vienna Lager

Witbier



Pilsner Glass (or Pokal)





Typically a tall, slender and tapered 12-ounce glass, shaped like a trumpet at times, that captures the sparkling effervesces and colors of a Pils while maintaining its head. A Pokal is a European Pilsner glass with a stem.



Benefits: Showcases color, clarity and carbonation. Promotes head retention. Enhances volatiles.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Adjunct Lager

American Amber / Red Lager

American Double / Imperial Pilsner

American Malt Liquor

American Pale Lager

Bock

California Common / Steam Beer

Czech Pilsener

Doppelbock

Dortmunder / Export Lager

Euro Dark Lager

Euro Pale Lager

Euro Strong Lager

German Pilsener

Happoshu

Japanese Rice Lager

Light Lager

Low Alcohol Beer

Maibock / Helles Bock

Munich Dunkel Lager

Munich Helles Lager

Schwarzbier

Vienna Lager

Witbier



Pint Glass (or Becker, Nonic, Tumbler)



Near cylindrical, with a slight taper and wide-mouth. There are two standard sizes, the 16-ounce (US Tumbler - the pour man's pint glass and most common) or the 20-ounce Imperial (Nonic), which has a slight ridge towards the top, a grip of sorts and helps in stacking them. The 20-ounce version is preferred to accommodate more beer or beers with large crowning heads. A Becker is the German equivalent, tapering at the top.



Benefits: Cheap to make. Easy to store. Easy to drink out of.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Adjunct Lager

American Amber / Red Ale

American Amber / Red Lager

American Barleywine

American Blonde Ale

American Brown Ale

American Dark Wheat Ale

American Double / Imperial Stout

American IPA

American Malt Liquor

American Pale Ale (APA)

American Pale Wheat Ale

American Porter

American Stout

American Strong Ale

Baltic Porter

Berliner Weissbier

Black & Tan

California Common / Steam Beer

Chile Beer

Cream Ale

English Barleywine

English Bitter

English Brown Ale

English Dark Mild Ale

English India Pale Ale (IPA)

English Pale Ale

English Pale Mild Ale

English Porter

English Stout

English Strong Ale

Euro Dark Lager

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Foreign / Export Stout

Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Happoshu

Herbed / Spiced Beer

Irish Dry Stout

Irish Red Ale

Low Alcohol Beer

Milk / Sweet Stout

Märzen / Oktoberfest

Oatmeal Stout

Old Ale

Pumpkin Ale

Russian Imperial Stout

Rye Beer

Sahti

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Scottish Ale

Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Smoked Beer

Winter Warmer

Witbier



Snifter



Used for brandy and cognac, these wide-bowled and stemmed glasses with their tapered mouths are perfect for capturing the aromas of strong ales. Volumes range, but they all provide room to swirl and agitate volatiles.


Benefits: Captures and enhances volatiles.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Barleywine

American Double / Imperial IPA

American Double / Imperial Stout

American Strong Ale

Belgian Dark Ale

Belgian Pale Ale

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Braggot

Eisbock

English Barleywine

Flanders Oud Bruin

Flanders Red Ale

Foreign / Export Stout

Gueuze

Lambic - Fruit

Old Ale

Quadrupel (Quad)

Russian Imperial Stout

Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Tripel

Wheatwine



Stange (Slender Cylinder)



A traditional German glass, stange means "stick" and these tall, slender cylinders are used to serve more delicate beers, amplifying malt and hop nuances. Substitute with a Tom Collins glass.



Benefits: Tighter concentration of volatiles.



Use with these Beer Styles:

Altbier

Bock

Czech Pilsener

Faro

Gose

Gueuze

Kölsch

Lambic - Fruit

Lambic - Unblended

Rauchbier

Rye Beer



Tulip



A stemmed glass, obviously tulip-shaped, wherein the top of the glass pushes out a bit to form a lip in order to capture the head and the body is bulbous. Scotch Ales are often served in a "thistle glass," which is a modified tulip glass that resembles Scotland's national flower.



Benefits: Captures and enhances volatiles, while it induces and supports large foamy heads.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Double / Imperial IPA

American Wild Ale

Belgian Dark Ale

Belgian IPA

Belgian Pale Ale

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Bière de Garde

Flanders Oud Bruin

Flanders Red Ale

Gueuze

Lambic - Fruit

Quadrupel (Quad)

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy



Weizen Glass





Nothing beats serving your Weizenbier (wheat beer) in an authentic Bavarian Weizen Glass. These classy glasses, with their thin walls and length, showcase the beer's color and allows for much headspace to contain the fluffy, sexy heads association with the style. Most are 0.5L in size, with slight variations in sizes. Forget the lemon garnish, the citric will kill the head.



Benefits: Specifically produced to take on volume and head, while locking in the banana-like and phenol aromas associated with the style.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Dark Wheat Ale

American Pale Wheat Ale

Dunkelweizen

Gose

Hefeweizen

Kristalweizen

Weizenbock



Oversized Wine Glass



"A wine glass for beer!?" Yep, an oversized 22oz wine glass will be most suitable for serving most Belgian Ales. Its size allows for headspace, while the open bowl creates an amazing nose. A lot of smart beer bars are now serving their Belgian Ales in these. It also makes for a great crossover conversational piece. "Is that wine that you're drinking?" And you reply, "No, it's De Ranke XX Bitter from Belgium. Wanna try?"



Benefits: Replacement for a Tulip or Goblet. Conversational.



Use with these Beer Styles:

American Double / Imperial IPA

American Double / Imperial Stout

American Wild Ale

Belgian Dark Ale

Belgian IPA

Belgian Pale Ale

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Bière de Garde

Braggot

Eisbock

English Barleywine

Old Ale

Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Wheatwine


So there you have it. Remember to always drink your beer in the proper glassware, because a properly served beer is a better beer.

9 comments:

  1. I like mugs best, can drink anything from a mug, does that make me a barbarian? Nice blog btw, following and showing some love :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love my beer glasses, they make it all look better

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  3. I've been collecting glasses for a while now.

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  4. it's that time of the day again! daily lovin'!

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  5. haha almost as complicated as how to set a table properly with all the different knives and forks and spoons.. phew

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  6. Hey there! Thought I'd check in and show some support, still got a nice blog going here I see, very good ;-) Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting read, I however will still use any old glass, maybe a kwak glass for fancyness.

    ReplyDelete