Want Better Beer? Start with Your Glass

beer glasses

Head to a run-down bar and your beer, no matter the type, will probably be served in a traditional shaker pint glass.  Go somewhere with a little more style and class, and you will notice them serving beer in a multitude of glasses of all shapes and sizes.


Is it just a marketing strategy by Stella Artois, for example, to have their beer served in a funny shaped glass with their name on it?  The novice beer drinker may think so.  Hey, they may even order Stella for that reason, so I guess the “marketing” is working!

But anyone with a little more knowledge of beer can probably tell you that the glasses actually DO make a difference. They may not be able to tell you WHY, but right they are!

Once the beer is poured, its new home (the glass) can alter the way it looks, smells, and tastes.  Again, to the novice beer drinker (those who only drink C-Minus), this may seem a little… ridiculous.

So let’s get into it a little bit..

Glasses are specially designed for certain types of beer and are designed in a way to enhance it’s volatiles (compounds evaporated from the beer to create its aromas), showcase it’s appearance, and maybe even affect the head on the beer. Also, several types of beer glasses have stems to keep the heat of your hands from warming the beer.  

Now, while some glasses are designed to enhance a beer, I will let it be known that this is not always the case.  Some are made to be easily stackable – you know, that shaker pint you get in the run-down bar.  Others may promote a local brewery or reflect a national tradition.

It’s definitely not a necessity to serve a certain beer in a certain glass, but if you are in tune with your beer taste buds, you will appreciate what different glassware has to offer.

So, with that being said, you’re probably wondering what types of glasses you should own.

I myself have collected quite the eclectic mix over the years.  However, it would be absurd to try to own every type of glass out there and always remember which beer is meant for which glass.  I love beer, but I’m not THAT crazy!

After much experience, some research, and feedback from trustworthy beer-loving friends and family, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 categories of what you glassware should own:  

    These multipurpose glasses are your go-to glasses for just about any beer.
    These glasses aren’t the ones you will use daily, but should definitely have on hand for when the time is right.
    The glasses you could do without, but what fun is that?

Stay tuned for part 2, the release of The Universals!

Photo Credit [puamelia]

About Kelley

Kelley is a former Division I college athlete turned Personal Trainer and Health Coach. She's a craft beer and wine enthusiast who loves to cook and create in the kitchen. Outside of the daily routine, she enjoys playing volleyball, snowboarding, mountain biking and everything outdoors.