Enjoying your beer, no matter what variety you're currently imbibing, often means choosing the right glass. While there are those of us who prefer to drink straight from the bottle, there's a lot to be gained by using the right type of glass. Pouring the perfect pint means knowing what each type of glass offers and why you might want (or not want) to use it.
Stein (or Mug)
We'll start with the traditional mug, or stein. These come in all sizes, but they generally have a handle on the side, and provide plenty of room in the interior for your beverage of choice. You'll find that almost anything can be served very well here, including pale ale, porter, stout, bock, black and tans, dark ale, IPA, red ale, cream ale, dark lager and smoked beer.
These tall, slender V-shaped glasses are perfect for use with some specific beer types. You'll find that it helps to keep the head on your beer, and it also helps to showcase color and clarity. A pilsner glass is a good option for bock, pale lager, dark lager, pilsner, witbier, red lager, imperial pilsner, steam beer and dopplebock, to name just a few.
The weizen glass looks like a combination between a pint glass and a pilsner glass. It's tall and slender, but it gently curved about halfway up. You'll find that this is good for improving aroma and head retention. You'll want to serve hefeweizen here, as well as dark and pale wheat ale. Weizenbock and Gose are also best served in this type of glass.
You might think that brandy is the only thing that should be served in a snifter, but you'd be wrong. This type of glass can be a great option for any beer where you want to capture and enhance volatiles. For instance, lambic is excellent when served this way. You can also serve Russian Imperial stout, tripel, wheatwine, Belgian dark ales, barleywine, double IPAs and quite a few other brews with a snifter.
There are few more "traditional" ways to serve up a pint than in a pint glass. You'll find that this is the best way to serve almost anything, from lager to red ale to stout, IPAs, steam beer, spiced beer, oatmeal stout, dry stout, rye beer, Scottish ale and almost anything else that you can think of.
When in doubt between drinking out of a bottle, can, or glass, use any glass that you can find and don’t worry about what the beer snobs say.