How Does the Type of Glass Change the Taste of Beer? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 01-26-2010, 03:20 AM   #1
Dec 2009
Posts: 166
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Ok so maybe this is a dumb question and it has probably been addressed thousands of times but i am a younger guy and only been legally allowed to drink for a little more than a year now which means i have a lot to learn (seeings how before i became of age i was accustom to cheap watery gas station beer).

Anyhow, i enjoy trying new beers and i realize that different styles should be poured into certain glasses and i was wondering what exactly happens to the beer that changes the taste/smell/feel (characteristics).

Today i bought Bells Best Brown Ale and it says on ratebeer "serve in dimpled mug" and it got my actually thinking about this. i have heard people talk about pilsner glasses, etc.

anyway, wasn't necessarily wondering what the different types of glasses were but the science behind why you are supposed to use different glasses.


edit: i just cracked one of these and poured it into my pint glass.... BORING - i had Hopslam recommended to me (still have a 6er) and i figured i would try something else Bells.... This is just not that interesting.

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
Feb 2008
Middleborough, MA
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By effecting the aroma of the hops and malt

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Old 01-26-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,595
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It's mostly a matter of what kind of glass was used in the originating area for a style, but for some beers having extra space above the beer for aromas to accumulate is good.

I am reminded of an American company that was entering the toilet paper market in Europe. The received wisdom was every country had exacting requirements, size, thickness, etc. Their survey showed: 1. Soft 2. Strong. 3. don't care about anything else.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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Old 01-26-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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IrregularPulse's Avatar
Nov 2007
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Different shapes of glasses, present the aroma differently, have different effects on the bubbles rising, and present the beer to your mouth differently. Different beers are going to want to highlight different aspects. IE, an IPA is going to want to bring out as much of the aroma out as possible into your nose when you take a drink. I prefer a Tulip if available. At home I'll use this glass for my IPAs and can notice a lot more aroma than when pouring into a wide mouth straight pint glass. It's more concentrated to the nose. But also it's just fun to collect different glasses.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
Grinder12000's Avatar
Jul 2008
Columbus WI
Posts: 2,995
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I'm opening a bottle of Vintage Ale this weekend and am looking for tulip glasses which "helps trap the aroma, but also aids in maintaining large heads, creating a visual and olfactory sensation."

Beer Advocate has a good . . .thing.

Flute Glass
Benefits: Enhances and showcases carbonation. Releases volatiles quickly for a more intense upfront aroma.

Goblet (or Chalice)
Benefits: Eye candy. Designed to maintain head. Wide-mouthed for deep sips.

Mug (or Seidel, Stein)
Benefits: Easy to drink out of. Holds plenty of volume.

Pilsner Glass (or Pokal)
Benefits: Showcases color, clarity and carbonation. Promotes head retention. Enhances volatiles.

Pint Glass (or Becker, Nonic, Tumbler)
Benefits: Cheap to make. Easy to store. Easy to drink out of.

Benefits: Captures and enhances volatiles.

Stange (Slender Cylinder)
Benefits: Tighter concentration of volatiles.

Benefits: Captures and enhances volatiles, while it induces and supports large foamy heads.

Weizen Glass
Benefits: Specifically produced to take on volume and head, while locking in the banana-like and phenol aromas associated with the style.

Oversized Wine Glass
Benefits: Replacement for a Tulip or Goblet. Conversational.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:43 PM   #6
Dec 2009
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thanks all

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Old 02-16-2010, 02:27 AM   #7
Dec 2009
Posts: 166
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anyone know of anywhere to get a nice set of different style beer glasses (1 of each preferably)?

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Old 02-16-2010, 06:13 AM   #8
Aug 2008
Portland OR
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This is my go to place for glass

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:25 AM   #9
Jan 2010
Posts: 99

Don't have it in front of me, but Philly Beer Scene's Winter 09/10 Edition lists a quality set of various glasses under "perfect gifts for homebrewers." You could send them an e-mail, grab an article (if local) or someone else here might have it handy and post up the website.

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:35 AM   #10
Pick's Avatar
Jan 2010
High Springs, Florida
Posts: 466
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cheap watery gas station beer
AKA "Natty Light"? LOL! I have a friend who won't associate with anyone that drinks it.

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