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Have you ever wondered why all beer isn’t constantly served in those giant German beer boots? Besides the fact that we would be super drunk (and awesome) all the time, those glasses just aren’t efficient for every beer. There’s a reason most beer bars have about 5 different kinds of beer glasses to serve beer in. A lot of it is to make beer look pretty, but there’s also function involved.
Besides size, the biggest factor in different glassware is variations of head retention. The way glasses are shaped effects how much head you get and the head effects the volatiles. Volatiles are compounds in beer that give off aromas and since smell is a huge part of flavor they also effect the taste. Beer head captures these volatiles and can enhance the flavor
The traditional American pint glass is actually not very good at retaining head and can waste some of the flavors and aroma of your beer. Thin glasses with smaller rims concentrate head and send the volatiles right up your nose to make sure you really taste the beer you’re drinking. This is why beers with lighter flavor and aroma are often served in slimmer glasses. Beers with powerful flavors are often served in smaller but wider rimmed glasses. To make things a little easier, here is a short guide to some beers we deliver and the most efficient glasses to serve them in.
Some of these are easy, as the glasses can be named after their ideal beers, but others are a little tricky. In the end you can still enjoy beer sipping it out of a tea cup, but we hope this guide can help you get more out of your brew.
Shiny Objects Syndrome Pilsner by Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
This crisp pilsner is ideally served in, surprise, a pilsner glass. Pilsner glasses are generally tall, thin, and angular glasses with little to no curvature. This style of glass retains a good amount of head and the narrow rim sends the aroma straight into face to enhance the flavor of the beer.
Cranbery Weisse by Cleophus Quealy Beer Company
This sour beer has a strong flavor and should generally be served in a stemmed tulip glass. Tulip glasses can come in a variety of sizes but in general they are wide in the middle to hold high volume but taper at the top to retain head and promote volatiles.
Hef-D by Alameda Island Brewing Company
This Bavarian style Hefeweizen is perfect to serve in a traditional Hefeweizen glass. The Hefeweizen glasses are tall, thick, and curved to showcase the beer’s color and promote an aromatic and frothy head. Be careful of garnishes, as the citrus will destroy the beer’s head and mute the natural flavor.
Kalifornia Kolsch by Magnolia Brewing Company
Kolsch tend to be served in Stange glasses, which are smaller in volume and very thin. The thin mouth of this glass allows for a strong concentration of volatiles that enhances the flavor of more delicate beers.
Corsair Dark Strong Ale by Baeltane Brewery
Really dark and strong beers like this one are often served in snifter glasses. These glasses can be swirled to release volatiles and the wide mouth allows your nose to get in there and take in the aroma. They also contain less beer since strong beers are usually served in these.
Moylan’s Northern California IPA by Moylan’s Brewery
IPA’s are often served in regular American pint glasses but this newly designed IPA glass is the better look. The shape of the IPA glass enhances the beer’s aroma and retains head better than the flat wide shape of the American pint glass.
You can browse our current beer menu here.