Drinking a beer is a sensory experience that includes the visual display of the beverage we are about to enjoy, as well as taste, mouthfeel, and aroma. The ocular perception and presentation of the drink is the first thing our senses encounter when we pick up a beer. In the days before mass produced glassware beer was commonly consumed from ceramic or metal drinking vessels. Considering the drink contained within the vessel could not be seen characteristics like color, clarity, and foam collar were of little concern prior to the advent of glassware.
Many shapes and sizes of glassware have been developed over the years to fit beer styles that were created in various geographic locations. Certain beer styles are meant to be enjoyed in a specific type of glassware that is intended to highlight the beers unique flavors, color, carbonation, aroma, and foam collar. Appropriate pouring techniques must also be properly employed with each glass and beer combination to insure the drinker receives the correct amount of beer with a nice head of foam. Using the proper glassware elevates the drinking experience by enhancing flavor characteristics and improving visual presentation.
The Tulip- Glass style with a flared opening shaped to improve appreciation of malt, hops, and highly carbonated Belgian Beers. Beer styles to drink from a tulip include Belgian Strong Ales, Saison, Belgian Blonde Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, and Barley Wines.
The Chalice- The large bowl-shaped surface area of the chalice provides for optimum release of aromas and allows highly carbonated beers to dissipate. Beer styles to drink from a chalice include Trappist Ales and Abbey Ales.
Pilsner Glass- The tall and elegant pilsner glass is shaped to accentuate the bright clarity and spritzy effervescence of lagers. Beer styles to drink from a pilsner include a wide variety of German, American, and International Lagers.
Shaker Pint- The 16-ounce shaker pint has become the national beer glass of choice in the United States, due in part to its practicality and versatility. Its shape and size were not created to fit any specific beer style, but many American Pubs pour all there beers into shaker pints.