Tulip Stem (L) and Weizen Glass (R). Illustration: Sean Hennefer
I have a problem—a glassware problem. If it’s a vessel made to carry a specific beer, I probably own it. Some of it is tradition, how some glasses are almost ceremonial in their approach to beer, but I know there’s more to it than that. So, when people ask me, “Hey, moron! What difference does it make?” or “How can it possibly affect the taste of the beer?” I have some simple answers.
Whether from a bottle, can or straight out of the taps, glassware is vital to the beer-drinking experience. For example, the shape of a traditional beer stein influences the way the head is formed as the beer is poured in, which makes a big difference in appearance and taste. A darker beer should be drunk from a glass with a wider brim in order to allow for more release of the aromatic ingredients in the brew, thus enhancing both the strong flavor and aroma. Some bottled beers are pasteurized and need a taller, thinner pilsner glass for color and “pourability.” These are just a few of the little things that can and do make a big difference in your drinking experience.
So, which is the correct glass to use with which beer? The answers are vast and varied. I’ve selected a few local beers and partnered them up with some nice examples of glassware that should enhance your beer enjoyment, while giving you a good idea of how to proceed on your own. Flavor, texture, aroma, glass—these are the things that help make your beer drinking memorable. Remember: You’re drinking to relax and enjoy yourself—why not do all the things you can to enhance the experience? Cheers!
The stem of this glass allows for the gradual warming of RedRock’s Paardebloem from the holder’s palm, which releases the more intense flavors the beer has to offer. The narrow rim provides a focused path for the peachy/lemony flavors accompanying the unique, floral bitterness that inhabits the beer.
Beer: Bee’s Knees Honey Wheat
Roosters’ Bee’s Knees Honey Wheat looks and tastes fantastic in this Weizen glass. Its narrow bottom and wide, bulbous top help release aroma while providing room for the often thick, fluffy head produced by wheat beers. The glass bulb releases the lemon, wheat, floral, doughy and yeasty notes that make this beer so enjoyable.