As you pour beer into a glass, your senses turn on and tune in to see, smell, and taste everything that beer has to offer. Different glasses react differently to your beer promoting a proper head, directing aroma, and transferring heat to or away from the beer depending on style.
And while we're not saying you should toss your collection of recycled jelly jars, it can never hurt to stock a few of the right glasses for the right occasion.
Best for: Double IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Tripel, Saison, Lambic
Dominated by a large, round bottom that's designed to transfer heat from your hand to warm the beer for easy drinking. The top tapers in slightly to trap aromas and maintain a frothy head. Belgian ales, powerful stouts and anything clocking in at over 8% ABV are great in these glasses.
Best For: Bavarian Hefeweisse, Munich Dunkel, Belgian Witbier
Typically the largest beer glass you'll find at a bar, the Weissbier Vase is the choice glass for a traditional German Wheat beer; its wide mouth showcases a foamy head and makes sipping easy. When the glass is tipped back, the air flow increases the strong scent of banana and clove you should find in any Bavarian beer garden.
Best For: Pilsner, Cream Ale, Kolsch
This tall, slender glass uses its cone shape to maintain its head and offers a great view of the beer's sparkling color. The narrow design forces hop aroma to your nose as you tip it back to sip.
Best For: Pale Ales, Amber Ales, Red Ales
The standard pint is the most widely-used bar glass and as such, you are likely to see it used for any number of styles. The mouth of the shaker model is wide-spread and makes for easy sipping, but the flavor and aroma of a beer can be diminished by this design. We prefer a glass that stays a bit straighter at the top (like the Spiegelau Lager glass above) for a steady head and more aroma.
Best For: Stout
This is the traditional style of glass used to drink stouts. It has a wide mouth and a bulb which encourages a frothy head, and is great for casual sipping, whether you're sulking over a typewriter or taking part in some shenanigans. It tapers down to a small base where decreased surface area lessens the amount of heat transferred from hand to drink, keeping your beer cooler, longer.