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Which glass do I use for each type of beer?

My love for beer has turned me into somewhat of a monster.  I have become a stickler when it comes to drinking beer out of the appropriate glassware.  It has gotten to the point where I bring my Greenbush snifter with me wherever I go.   Now I am not full blown crazy, but I think there is something to be said about adding a couple different glasses to your collection that will really enhancing your drinking experience.  Here are the basic glassware rules that I have chosen to live by.

snifterThe Snifter

This piece of glassware is an absolute must for even casual beer drinkers.  These types of glasses are classically used for sipping on brandy and cognac.  These stemmed glasses have a wide bowl and tapered mouth, which capture and enhance the nose of complex, malty brews.  The glass design really lends itself to sipping, which is the way to enjoy most beers that should be poured into these glasses.

What beers should be poured into snifters: Anything barrel aged, Russian Imperial Stout, Quad, Old Ale, Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale, Barleywine, Wheatwine.  In general, most beers over 9% (other than Double IPAs) love spending their time in snifters


tulipThe Tulip

The bottom portion of a tulip resembles a snifter in every aspect.  The difference is these glasses widen out to a lip in the upper portion.  The design is ideal for pouring a thicker head.  This design is ideal for beers that generate a complex aroma from the head of the beer.  Beers in this glass tend to breath out a bit more and aromas are less contained.

What beers should be poured into tulips: APA, IPA, Double IPA, Saison, and all wild/sour varieties



The Pint

This glass has a slightly tapered cylindrical shape.  The US Pint carries a consistent taper from top to bottom and holds 16 ounces. The Imperial Pint has a bulb in the upper portion for supporting additional volume up to 20 ounces.

What beers should be poured into pints: Any beer you want to.  In all seriousness, I would never want to pour a beer over 9% or a sour into a pint.  Other than that all bets are off and I encourage you to use the pint glass that slipped out of the bar with you last time time you had a few too many.

Right out of the Bottle

Anyone who tells me they would never drink a beer right out of the bottle is someone I probably do not associate with.  It is actually quite refreshing to forget my geekiness and just drink right out of the bottle sometimes.  If you haven’t tried it recently, I encourage you to do so, it is quite refreshing.

What beers should be drank right out of the bottle: see “The Pint”


Everyone has a pint glass or seven sitting around.  If you enjoy drinking beer, go get yourself a snifter and a tulip glass.  I actually picked up my first of each at a thrift shop for under $1 each.  Are you wondering: “Hey! What about the flute, weizen glass, pilsner glass, goblet, etc?”  I say “meh.”  I have tried them all and my experience is not enhanced by any other glasses.  If you disagree with me, I encourage you to do whatever makes you happy and keep drinking.

3 thoughts on “Which glass do I use for each type of beer?”

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