Craft beer glasses were designed with a particular style of beer in mind. Each type has unique curves and shapes that either accentuate the aroma, hop character, taste, style, or overall appearance of a beer. Below are the common types of beer glasses every beer lover should have in their home bar. I will say my favorite all-around glass is the 11-ounce Teku glass…and not just because it looks cool. If you’re going to spend $18 on a 4 pack, you might as well serve it in a glass that will make the most of it.
Beer Glass Types
Classic Pint Glass
The classic pint is your typical 16-ounce beer glass in the US. Nothing overly special here, just a thick and sturdy stackable glass that’s often found in bars and restaurants. Pint glasses are inexpensive and easy to clean and store.
Best for: Any style—consider this your classic pint glass that won’t enhance or detract from your beer.
Nonic Pint Glass
The Nonic pint glass is known as the English pub glass or Imperial pint glass. It’s the standard pint glass used in the UK. It’s known for its distinguished bulge near the lip of the glass, which is to help prevent nicking or chipping. This is the UK equivalent to the US pint glass but a little easier to grip.
Best for: Any style—consider this your classic pint glass in the UK.
Spiegelau IPA Glass
The IPA glass has a ridged thin bottom with a wider rounded top. The iconic ridges of this glass are designed to aerate your hoppy beers with each sip, releasing volatile aromatics in the process. IPAs after all are all about those delicate aromatics. A great glass to have on hand for IPA drinkers.
Best for: Any style IPA or pale ale.
Rastal Teku Glass
As I mentioned, this is my favorite beer glass as I drink a lot of NEIPAs. The Teku glass has really grown in popularity in the craft beer world—just look at breweries on Instagram. The glass is available in both 11-ounce or 14-ounce sizes. It looks a lot like a wine glass with a long stem and bowl-like top. Overall the glass is designed to keep your hands from transferring heat to the beer while delivering volatile aromatics with every sip. The only drawback is they are pricy glasses. I’ve got some 11-ounce glasses that are perfect for my beer on tap at home. It was worth the splurge.
Best for: A well-rounded glass for a variety of different styles. Particularly good for aromatic beers such as NEIPAs, IPAs, pales, ales, sours/wilds, and fruit beers.
Rastal Harmony Stemless Glass
If you love Teku glasses, you’ll love the stemless version too. The Rastal Harmony glass poses a lot of the benefits of the Teku glass but without the stem. Definitely best for when you can set your beer down and relax. I got into these when I found myself continuously using our stemless wine glasses for my IPAs.
Best for: A variety of different styles. Particularly good for aromatic beers such as NEIPAs, IPAs, pales, ales, sours/wilds, and fruit beers.
Belgian Tulip Glass
The Tulip glass is another glass style that has become incredibly popular as an all-around beer glass at commercial craft breweries. The Tulip glass is designed to capture the beer’s head and promote the aroma and flavor of Belgian ales and other malty and hoppy-forward beers. They’re a durable and relatively affordable choice. I’ve got a bunch of these in the home bar. They’re usually about 16 ounces but can vary.
Best for: Double/Imperial IPAs, NEIPAs/pale ales, Belgian strong and dark ales, barleywines, gueuze, fruit lambics, sours, saisons, American wild ales, and Scotch ales.
The Snifter, also known as a brandy Snifter, strongly resembles the Tulip glass. Snifters are best for high alcohol/strong beers. The large round design allows you to easily swirl and release the beer’s aroma. The short stem and the large base is designed to allow the warmth of your hand to enhance the beer’s aroma. I’m sticking with my Tulips unless I’m drinking cognac.
Best for: Barleywines, imperial IPAs, and imperial stouts.
The Stout glass was designed by Spiegelau in partnership with Left Hand Brewing Rogue beer companies. The design is not that dissimilar to the Spiegelau IPA Glass at a glance. The curved design of the stout glass is intended to deliver aroma unique to stouts and also supports head retention. If you’re a stout drinker, they’re a must-buy glass for your collection.
Best for: Any kind of stout.
A Weizen glass is very similar and often confused with the pilsner glass. the Weizen glass is tall, narrow, and flares out towards the top of the glass. The thin-walled design will show off the beer’s color while the curvature maintains a thick, fluffy head that delivers aromatics with every sip. The tapered bottom is designed to prevent yeast or sediment from reaching the mouth of the glass. A must-have for wheat beers of all styles. Usually, come in larger litre size.
Best for: American wheat ales, dunkelweizens, hefeweizens, kristalweizens, and weizenbocks.
Pilsner glasses come in a few different styles however a true pilsner glass is tall, skinny, and straight-sided glass with no curvature. The glass gradually widens towards the top showing off the light hue and bubbles of pilsners. Similar to a Weizen, the design helps maintain a hefty head to deliver aromatics with every sip. You typically find these in 12-14 ounce volumes. I used to have a favorite one of these from a brewery in NH until it broke in the dishwasher…
Best for: Pilsners, blonde/cream ales, witbiers, and bocks.
The Stange glass gets its name from the German word for pole. It’s a tall, narrow, and small (6-7 ounce) cylindrical glass that is designed to display soft hop and malt aromas and preserve carbonation in light and delicate beers. You’ll notice its similar design to a champagne flute, which carries on the same general idea in terms of delivering flavor and preserving fizz. It’s obviously not as tippy.
Best for: Kölsch, altbiers, bocks, lambics, goses, and Czech pilsners
Dimple Beer Mugs
When I think of beer mugs I think of German-style beers. The iconic dimpled mug comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but always has a thick and sturdy handle. Beer mugs are thick-walled and will last a lifetime—which they really have to be to withstand the test of Octoberfest. They’re typically a larger glass that will hold ALOT of beer (up to 44 ounces) and are great for clanking together.
Best for: A variety of German, English, Irish, and American beers.
Honorable Mention: Beer Can Glass
The 16-ounce beer can glass is a newer glass to the craft beer world. I think these glasses look cool more than anything, however, they do offer a smooth can-like experience while having the benefit of head releasing aromatics. Definitely, a cool glass to add to the bar.
Best for: Any style—suited for a variety of beer styles.