13 Types Of Beer Glasses: A Detailed Guide To Beer Glass Sizes
, by Randy Woodward
, by Randy Woodward
Even with the number of beer types worldwide, drinkers seem to agree on one thing - it is best served in a beer glass. This is because the aroma of beer helps mask its bitter flavor.
The bursting of the foamy microbubbles on the glass’s top, aka the head, also highlights the beer’s excellent side. So to enjoy your beer even more, pour it to have some froth and drink it while the head is still present.
Different beer glasses can hold varying amounts of beer. In this article, pint refers to the US pint, which is equal to 16 ounces.
This fundamental glass is the most popular out of the beer glasses listed here since it is the cheapest and can serve just about any beer. With only 16 ounces to it, the American pint glass is the perfect size to get you to enjoy your beer without forcing it down too soon in fear of it getting warm and flat.
A little larger than the American pint glass, the Imperial pint glass packs 20 ounces of any beer you can think of. It also has a small lip designed to let the glass naturally tip on your mouth to take a big gulp of your drink instead of sipping it.
Pilsner glasses are footed glasses that don't have a stem, like a goblet, chalice, and tulip glasses. The foot is meant to give stability to the tapering design on the glass. This glass is intended to display the light color, effervescence, and clarity of pilsner beers. Moreover, it can hold up to 14 ounces of beer.
Tulip glasses resemble both the goblet and the thistle glass, only that it has a narrower rim than the goblet or chalice. It was designed to capture the head and promote the aroma of the Belgian ales. It is used to serve strong and dark ales and Belgian IPAs. It can hold up to 16 ounces of beer.
Thistle glasses are almost the same as hurricane glasses; only the bulge on the bowl has more pronounced and angular sides. It can hold 20 ounces of beer and is best used to serve Scotch ales. This is a genuinely Scottish tradition as the shape is inspired by the thistle, Scotland’s national flower.
The goblet can hold 21 ounces of your favorite German wheat beer, especially if stange glasses are too small for you. It also looks more sophisticated than a beer mug while keeping the hand away from the beer, inadvertently warming it.
Shaped just like the stout glasses, IPA glasses are taller and sleeker and can hold only 19 ounces compared to the 21 of the stout glasses. They are also best used to serve IPAs. The more thin rim allows the release of carbonation, bombarding your nose as the minute bubbles burst while you drink from it.
Stout glasses can hold 21 oz of your favorite beer. Its design is meant to highlight the aroma of the coffee and chocolate typical in stouts.
Weizen glasses are another giant when it comes to beer glasses. It can hold up to 24 ounces of beer, quickly serving two 12-oz. cans in a single gulp. The Weizen glass is best used to serve wheat beers and light, aromatic beers as it can form a thick, fluffy head, making the beer more enticingly sweet.
Slim, sleek, and tall, this is known as the champagne flute’s equivalent for beers. The narrow body and opening make it an appropriate glass for light-bodied beers. Contrary to the pint glass, which is more prevalent in the US, the stange glass is a classic beer glass for German beers. It can hold less than 7 ounces of beer, so it is tiny in the beer world.
Not to be mistaken as a glass for spirits, the teku-stemmed beer glass is more angular on the sides than the curved bowl of wine glasses. It can hold 11-14 ounces of beer and is used to serve fine craft beers.
A beer mug can hold various amounts of beer, depending on the size. Although it was lost in circulation in the 1960s, this glass is still the classic beer glass. The smallest can hold less than a pint to more than a liter for the bigger ones. Its handle is always favored because it keeps the hand away from the glass’s body, providing more beer insulation.
If you are a general, would you challenge your men to win a battle in exchange for a drink of beer on your leather boots? That’s what happened to a Prussian general who dared his men. The cunning general then had a glassmaker fashion a glass shaped like a boot so he won’t have to drink his beer from his filthy boots.
The beer boot, known in Germany as bierstiefel, the largest of which can hold up to 2 liters or 67 ounces, is the healthy alternative to filthy boots.
The challenge lies in drinking the beer without dribbling it on your shirt. The boot’s toe creates a hollow as you consume it until bubbles push the drink more forcibly out if you don’t know how to drink from it. The secret lies in slightly tilting the toe to the side to lessen the beer’s rush from the boot to your throat.
As the name implies, a pint glass can hold an imperial pint equivalent to 1.2 US pints.
Depending on the glass, it ranges from 3.5 ounces to 34 ounces.
The dimpled mug makes it easier to handle during washing. Designed to look like a hand grenade, it exudes strength, but more importantly, it helps to make the beer in the mug less intimidating.
This is a pint glass, but it is handled, so it is usually called a “Handle.” It has a capacity of 5 ounces (quarter ounce glass) to 1 pint (16 ounces). In between, a half-pint mug can hold 10 oz.
Pub beer mugs usually have a capacity of 10 to 17 ounces. These are the mugs, as we know now.
Beer steins usually have a capacity of 12 to 37 ounces. While it is currently used to serve beer, it was never its purpose in the first place. The word stein means stone in German but may have been misunderstood and later popularized by American soldiers. While it does sound like a beer stein, beer steins may refer to residue buildup in the brewing vessel instead of a drinking vessel.
However, it is fair to note that the beer stein, as we know it today, originated from stoneware jugs called steinkrug. Before the invention of glass, stoneware mugs were used to serve beer. The hinged lid was added to prevent the beer from being contaminated by flies during the black plague’s height.
One of the drawbacks when drinking beer is that it loses its integrity when it is already warm, leaving it tasting flat. So bartenders and glassmakers worked together to design a drinking glass with a handle to keep hands from heating the drink.
On the other hand, beer steins were first used in Germany to stave off the possibility of being infected with bubonic plague in the 16th century. Initially, it was made of stoneware, but it can also be made from porcelain, pewter, silver, or wood.
In 1639, Sir Robert Mansell acquired a monopoly on glassmaking in Britain, but the beer glasses were costly. There were also imported glasses from Venice, but those were too expensive.
In the 1660s, a beer glass was sold at 6 pence each (about £50 or $60 each). From 1745 onwards, the beer glasses became smaller since they were taxed according to their weight. However, they were still costly and were a status symbol as only the rich can afford them.
In the 18th century, when the first glass press was invented, the glasses were less expensive and lighter. By the 1920s, the first 10-sided, handled pint mug was first mass-produced, becoming the alter ego for beer. However, it was replaced by the dimpled mug, which supposedly made the beer more attractive. By the 1960s, the ten-sided tankard was no longer produced to give way to straighter, lighter glasses.
While they may be favored, the lighter glasses prove to be not as sturdy as they look as they are easily chipped and broken when clinked together on a toast. Nonik glasses provided a solution to this by having a bulge near the top to improve the drinker’s grip, easier removal from the stack, and making the glass stronger to prevent chipping. It may have solved chipping, but drinkers do not favor these glasses because they were very plain-looking.
Before you purchase your beer glass, it is best to understand the different beer types and styles. Maybe you can begin with a beer-wine hybrid that will eventually make you love beer.
A good start would be this 6-piece assorted beer glass set. Composed of an American pint glass, nonik glass, tulip glass, pilsner glass, Weizen glass, and a goblet, this is an excellent set to let you explore how each glass affects the taste of a particular beer.
What is your favorite beer glass? Have you tried using a beer growler with your glass? Let us know in the comments below.