Ever wonder why taprooms and breweries have an arsenal of shapely glasses behind the bar to serve beer? Each glass accents the aroma of the brew, which is a big part of tasting. The next time you order a beer, pay attention to how it is served.
The snifter is an iconic glass with a literal name. Sometimes mistaken for a wine glass, it features a short stem with a wide-bowled opening to allow the drinker to experience the full-range of scents the craft brew has to offer. Its curvy shape also makes it great for swirling beer, which releases volatiles and further enhances the aromas. An experienced bartender should serve a highly aromatic brew in this glass, such as an IPA or an imperial stout.
The tulip glass is round, curves in and then flares out at the top creating a unique hourglass-like shape. Its curvy nature is designed to deliver the brew directly to your taste buds. With this option, the head of the beer is amplified, allowing the drinker to swirl the brew, which stirs up aromatic volatiles. The tulip glass excels at extolling the scents and flavors of the beer all at the same time.
Typically served with a stout, the stem of the goblet gradually uses the body heat from the drinker’s hand to warm the beer to its ideal temperature. This intensifies the aromas and flavors, maximizing the drinking experience. The wide mouth of the glass is helpful in maintaining a frothy head, and doesn’t interrupt the flow of beer from the goblet to your taste buds.
The tall, slender shape of a Weizen Glass is ideal for showcasing beers with a large, frothy head. (Contrary to some beliefs, certain beers are meant to have a head, as it kicks up the aroma.) Because of the subtle hourglass shape that’s made by the flared ends of the glass, the beer’s carbonation and scents are preserved. Without much debate, the Weizen Glass is the ideal drinking partner for wheat beers.
Beer glasses offer a variety of benefits for the drinker. It has a subtle effect on the taste, aroma and appearance, which all add to the overall experience. The next time you’re in our taproom, pay attention to the different glass styles and ask your bartender why each beer is served that way.