Plenty has been written in the past year plus about having the proper glassware to consume your craft beer in. There are some compelling arguments out there to be sure, but whenever I mention it to my friends or especially my friends and family that might not care much for craft beer, I usually get a heavy eye roll at best. Before we get started, how about a word from some craft brewers and lovers about why glassware is important.
Feeling a bit more convinced? Would you drink wine out of the bottle and not pour it in a glass? Wait, don’t answer that. I think the single most important thing you can do is get a really great Double IPA or Imperial Stout and pour it in a snifter and in a pint glass. Take a sip of each and see if you can notice a difference…and be honest. So now that we are at least a little closer to agreeing that glassware is important, lets talk about what glassware you should be using to consume that delicious craft beer.
Here are the three glasses I prefer when I drink craft beer, and in my opinion should be in every cupboard.
1) THE SNIFTER
The ole stand by, the glass I reach for nine times out of ten when I’m ready to consume a craft beer. Why? I have a bunch of them, and because they are a great choice for most of the styles I prefer. Those styles include Double IPA’s, Imperial Stouts, Barleywines and Lambics. So what is so great about a Snifter? Well, someone smarter than me at Beer Advocate explained it this way, and well, they’re right.
Used for brandy and cognac, these wide-bowled and stemmed glasses with their tapered mouths are perfect for capturing the aromas of strong ales. Volumes range, but they all provide room to swirl and agitate volatiles**.
2) THE TULIP
I have a Tulip glass from Boulevard Brewing that I use more than most of my other glasses. The others are probably jealous too. It’s a perfect choice for Guezues,Lambics, Scotch Ales, Double IPA’s and Belgians…lots of Belgians. It has similar benefits to the snifter, but can take on a little more beer and a larger head as well. From BA…
A stemmed glass, obviously tulip-shaped, wherein the top of the glass pushes out a bit to form a lip in order to capture the head and the body is bulbous. Scotch Ales are often served in a “thistle glass,” which is a modified tulip glass that resembles Scotland’s national flower.
3) THE MUG
I know, I know, not exactly the same kind of choice as the other two right? And it doesn’t boast the same qualities for enhancing your beer either, but when I want a good ole simple beer, I reach for a heavy mug. I have a couple of these dimpled ones and they are just perfect for an American Amber, a Porter, and Irish Dry Stout or something English as well. Since the main qualities are the feel in your hand and amount of beer it holds, I won’t provide any more description here, but I do love these.
**Volatiles are compounds that evaporate from beer to create its aroma, such as hop oils, all kinds of yeast fermentation byproducts like alcohol, fusels and fruity esters, spices or other additions.