Next is the pilsner glass, which is used to serve many types of light beers, but was ultimately created for its namesake, the pilsner. Tall, slim and tapered with a straight edge, the pilsner glass enhances the carbonation and emphasises the colour of the pilsner style.
Not to be confused with the pilsner glass is the weizen glass. Used to serve wheat beer, also known as weizenbier or weissbier, weizen glasses are tall, slim and tapered with a curve at the top. The tall glass allows for yeast sediment, present in many wheat beers, to settle at the bottom of the glass.
Moving on to stemmed glasses, some of the most common styles are the flute, tulip, snifter and goblet (or chalice).
Similar to the pilsner glass, the narrow shape of the flute glass enhances carbonation and emphasises colour. While tulip glasses have a plump body and flared top, which helps trap the aroma and allows for a large head.
A snifter is generally used for beers with a higher alcohol content. Also used for brandy and cognac, the snifter’s wide bowl shape and narrow top is perfect for capturing aromas and provides room to swirl the beer to amplify aromas even further.
And finally, also used for higher alcohol content beers, the goblet (or chalice) is another large, bowl-shaped glass. Ranging from the lighter and more delicate goblet, to the heavier and thickset chalice, they are designed to hold a beer with a large head. The inside bottom of the glass is sometimes etched to encourage carbonisation, thus creating an endless stream of bubbles to ensure the head doesn’t dissipate.
So the next time you enjoy a glass of beer, take a moment to think about the glass it has been served in. Is it shaped to encourage or limit carbonisation? Is it shaped to release or retain aromas? And most importantly, is it the right glass to maximise your enjoyment of your chosen beer?