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Beer Glassware Buying Guide

Premium and speciality beers are quickly taking the spotlight among enthusiasts.  Crafted with the goal of enhancing the beer drinking experience, manufacturers have developed glassware  to accommodate the subtleties of certain beers.  Different glasses can make beer look, taste, and even pour better.  Not sure which type of glass to use, or even what kind of beer you like?  Not a problem! Pick up a beer and use the guide below to help you find a new home for your favourite brew.  Cheers!

Beer Glass Styles

Beer Mugs 

One of the most common glasses used, they are great for enjoying all kinds of beer and are perhaps the sturdiest of all your options. Sometimes called a stein , they can be placed in the freezer for chilling with no worry of chipping or cracking. Who doesn't like to grab on to one of these?

Pint Glasses 

This is another standard beer glass that can be used for just about any kind of beer. Typically, pints can be served with stouts  or English ales .These come in varying styles also, which include nonic  and conical .

Pilsner Glasses 

These are tapered at the bottom and can be used with any kind of light beer  as well as pilsners . Use this type of glass if you love the presentation as much as the beer! Most hold less than a pint.

Flute glasses 

A flute glass? Absolutely. Nothing beats the shape of a flute glass to maximise aroma and breathable flavor. Try it with your favourite strong flavoured ale and you will be amazed. Also highly recommended when drinking fruit beers  or lambics .

Goblet Glasses 

This is a large, wide glass that is used for serving heavier beers like Belgian ales  and German bocks . The wider mouth allows the drinker to appreciate the aromatic scent while taking in the taste of their choice beverage.

Drink Up!

Before you serve that brew, remember these helpful tips!

  • Remember to use your glassware for beer only. Drinking other liquids from the glass may affect the taste of the beer the next time you use it.
  • Try to use clear glasses when drinking your beer. The colour and overall appearance of the beer is part of the tasting process and can help to make it more enjoyable.
  • Chill glass in freezer if desired, but be aware that this may affect the taste.
  • When pouring, hold the glass at a 45° angle and target the middle of the slope of the glass. At the halfway point bring the glass to a 90° angle and continue to pour into the middle of the glass. This will induce the perfect foam head.
  • Beer can be garnished with orange  or lemon slices  to enhance the taste. 
  • When washing beer glasses, use hot water and a soft cloth . Using soap  can leave residue on the glass and affect the head and taste of your beer. If soap is a necessity, rub the glasses with table salt  after washing to remove any residue and let the glasses air dry before storage.

Beer Tasting

Now that you've found the proper glass to go with your beer and you know the right way to pour, it's time for a taste test. Beer tastings  can range from casual to more professional. A casual beer tasting will have an array of beers from lightest to darkest set for tasting, while a professional tasting will include about 10 samples of a certain beer style. Between tastings, the palate can be cleansed with water, or more causally biscuits  and food . Make sure the beer is served at the proper temperature (usually in the range of 7-15º) and you're ready to go! There are three important parts of a beer tasting, as listed below.

Appearance

Proper colour indicates taste and will help you to determine if the beer was brewed correctly. For example, Guinness  is a dark stout, so if another stout that you are sampling looks somewhat lighter from the rest, that might be an indication of an off taste. Carbonation is also important and this can be seen when the beer is poured. The beer should maintain its head for at least a minute before it goes down. Also, the turbidity or cloudiness that can show up in certain brews should only come from bottled beers--if a filtered beer is cloudy, it may not be suitable for drinking.

Scent

Scent can be defined through aroma, bouquet and odour. Aroma is described as nutty, malty  or earthy and is best detected just as the beer is being poured into your glass. The bouquet is the aroma that the hops  give off, which can include herbal, floral, resin and spice. Finally if the beer gives off a type of foul odour reminiscent of fish, sulphur or chlorine, the brew is probably defective.

Taste

When taking that first sip, make sure you allow the beer to wash over all parts of your tongue so your taste buds  are evenly hit and you can form an accurate judgement. Note the heaviness, as beer can range between light  and full bodied . The after-taste of your quaff is important as well. It should be a clean taste that is slightly reminiscent of the brew, and it shouldn't be too bitter or sweet.

Related Products

Beer Steins  

These come in various shapes and colours and are fun to collect whether you're just starting out or have become an advanced collector.

Beer Novelties 

Beer products can make whimsical gifts for just about anyone, from the connoisseur to the casual drinker.

Bottle Openers 

It's always good to have an assortment of these on hand in case you lose one or two. Many of your favourite breweries probably sell some fancy bottle openers to go with your beer.

Beer Coasters 

These are good for protecting your counters and tables, not to mention the assortment of colours and designs you can collect.

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