The Magnificent Seven
by Bob Montemurro
As you might expect I get a lot of mail from readers about, what else,
beer. But not just beer itself. Many ask about things like what beers
are best for aging, best beers for gift giving, and how to properly serve
beer. One of the more focused questions in that area is just what
types of glasses should a craft beer drinker have in his cupboard.
While a single clean one is really all you need, for the truly serious beer
drinker I recommend seven.
Shaker Pint Glass
The most common beer glass in the USA. It holds 16 ounces. Most
bars and pubs are teeming with these conical glasses and you'll likely
get whatever draft beer you order in it. These glasses are well-suited to
a wide variety of beers, including stouts, lagers, and ales with low to
average alcohol by volume (sessionable ales, as well). Bars like them
because they're easy to stack and hard to break or chip.
A taller and thinner glass than the pint, it holds about 12ounces. It's
tapered and trumpets out at the mouth, standing on a flat but broad
base. They are intended specifically for (you guessed it) a pilsner but
also work well with other lighter beers, like lagers and witbier. The
design supports the effervescence of a light beer while allowing it to
maintain a fluffy head.
It works for brandy and is effective for beer too. A short stem
supports a bowl that tapers at the mouth — the design captures
intense aromas, such as those you'd detect from stronger ales. Snifter
sizes range but most are between 6 and 8 ounces. I love to put
barleywines and strong Belgian Strong Ales in a snifter. Here's a tip-
swirl the beer in the bottom of the glass to release the delicious aromas.
This stemmed glass is shaped like a tulip with a flared top rising from a
bulbous body. Tulips come in any number of sizes between 12 and 20
ounces. They're perfect for serving French- and Belgian-style ales, like
Abbey Tripel, Saison, or Biere de Garde, beers that tend to have a
frothy head. The curvy design lets the beer breathe and release its
aromas while cultivating a frothy head.
Looks a taklike a pilsner glass. It's tall and thin but while a pilsner glass
tapers evenly at the top, the weizen rounds out toward the middle.
Containing about 17 ounces of beer, it is designed specifically for
wheat beers, which typically have thick heads that need room to fluff
out. By the way, to keep the head avoid any fruit garnishes (like
orange or lemon wedges) since they collapse it. The glass curves also
bring out the unique aromas of a wheat beer.
This glass works for many styles of beer. The large, bowl-shaped glass
with a long stem is perfect for Belgian ales, German bocks, or other big
beers. It's a close relative to the chalice which is a heavier, more sturdy
stemmed glass, sometimes with etching at the bottom of the bowl.
You've probably seen this but never knew its name. The glass is tall
and completely cylindrical with a clean design patterned for a Kölsch
style beer. It usually serves between 7 and 12 ounces of beer and can
stand as high as 6 inches. It's also a good option for most delicate
brews, like Altbier and Gose, since it helps amplify the malt and hop
So there you have the key seven. Of course there are other fun
glasses that would enhance your collection like a stein, boot, or yard
but the basic group is just about all you really need to enhance the
beer and enjoy all it's flavorful and aromatic nuisances.
One last thing. Please be sure your glasses are clean; and that includes
not having any soap residue on them. One way to test you glass is to
rinse it with water. If the water runs down the inside in sheets you are
fine, if it spots or gathers on the side you glass needs to be rewashed.
Actually I never use soap or a oil based detergent on my glasses. They
are very hard to fully remove from the glass. And never, never use
your beer glass to drink milk. Removing the traces of that from your
glass takes forever. Just dedicate those seven to one beverage and
one beverage only - beer!
Thanks for reading. See you next month!
See you next month!
|BeerNexus proudly presents
"the ombudsman of beer"
Bob and Friends Speak of Beer......
|Want to be a "friend of Bob"
and write a guest column?
Just e-mail your article to
|Want to be a "friend
of Bob" and write a
guest column? Just
e-mail your article to