SubscribeAvailable Now
Eat and Drink

Beer Lesson: Glasses


When we first started drinking beer, we didn’t care whether a weizen or pilsner glass was appropriate. Now, our beer habits are a little more refined, and we’re keen to match craft brews to the right glasses (just take a look at August’s “A Beer for All Seasons”). Below, our guide to drinking vessels.

Pilsner: A tall, slender, tapered glass used to serve light beers, like pilsners (of course) and lagers. The elongated shape allows light to travel through the beer and reveal color and carbonation.

Snifter: This glass, which often does double-duty with brandy, captures the volatiles of aromatic beers (think: barley wines, double IPAs, and casked ales). The bulbous bottom allows you to swirl a beer, much like wine, to release aromas.

Weizen: Traditionally used in Germany to serve wheat or wit beers, this glass is tall, with an hourglass shape. The wide top enhances smells and gives plenty of room for a thick, fluffy head.

Tulip: Aromatic beers like saisons, sour/wild ales, and black IPAs, do well in this stemmed glass with a round bottom (it looks like, you guessed it, a tulip). The top lip flares out to help preserve a strong head.

Pint: The most common glass, the American pint (16 ounce) and British or Imperial pint (20 ounce) comes in two different forms: conical and nonic. A conical glass is easy to produce and stack. The nonic has a small bulge near the top to prevent chips (the word “nonic” is derived from “no nick”).

Editors' Picks


Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone.

Sign Up