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This is the small print where I deny everything and refuse to take any responsibility for anything. Any opinions given should not be taken as facts & any facts given should not be taken as opinions. As an extra precaution all the really small print is in white text, this is copyrighted .

E. & O. E.

Copyright www.petespintpot.co.uk  2008. First published 17 October 2008, last updated  20 January 2018.

Pete’s Pint Pot is dedicated to the home production & sensible drinking of beer, wine, cider & meads plus a little bit of china painting & a few bits of photograph tampering.

If you are affected by any of the articles on this site or any of the issues raised in them, I truly feel very sorry for you.

Finally the sanity clause: As Chico Marx

famously said to brother Groucho,

  “Everybody knows there ain't no

     Sanity Clause!”


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            whilst I have written all this guff, mostly nicked from other web sites, I do not expect you to take some of the declared statements to be completely or even partially true, I'm just stating what they are supposed to do. I must admit though, even Duvel tastes better from a Duvel glass


There are many different styles of beer & each one seems to have several styles of glass associated with it, excluding the brewers own distinctive & dedicated glass. But, apart from (usually) looking nice, does the glass have any effect on the enjoyment of the contents or does it only make you appear cool (or pretentious)? In general I think a lot of the glasses are genuinely designed to enhance certain characteristics of the brew. At worst I think any glass, even a (clean) jam jar, gives a vast improvement to a half-decent beer compared to drinking it straight from the bottle, the jam jar can also make you appear slightly civilized!

Here are a few examples of some of the more popular glasses & their "intended" uses, they are not definitive or compulsory & they are interchangeable.



These ubiquitous vessels are generally used for all “beers”, they come in various shapes, the straight sided version is sometimes called a “shaker”, the “curved” glass, sometimes referred to as a “tulip” style, has a slightly narrowed top which tends to enhance any aroma, it also reduces breakages drastically (this IS true).

Typically used for general beers, ales, bitters, stouts, ESBs, Porters, lagers etc., in fact this “universal” type of glass can really be used for any beer.


Tall & slender, widening towards the mouth with gradual, traditionally evenly sloping (Pokal), sometimes footed, but can be gently curved, sides. The shape gives the beer a very good head & helps to enhance the colour & condition.

Pilsner glasses are tall with an inverted cone shape that focuses the hop aroma of a beer. It allows for zesty carbonation and a robust head.

Typically used for most Lagers, Pilsners, Oktoberfest/Marzens, Dortmunder, Helles, light Viennas, Dunkel/Schwartzbiers, American lagers, Cream ales, California Commons etc.

The fluted glass is often used for Belgian lambics, fruit beers etc.


These tend to be tall & slender like lager glasses, again in order to obtain a good head & enhance the condition & the (sometimes cloudy) colour, the narrow top helps to contain the aromas. Often they are “over-size” in order to accommodate a large head.

Typically used for Weissbier/Weizens/Wheatbiers, Dunkleweizen, Hefeweizen, Kristalweizen, Weizenbock, Roggenbier, American Wheat/Rye Beers, Gose.


These two types of dignified glasses for dignified beers are of a similar style, having a long stem & a large bowl, similar to an oversized wine glass.

The goblet is quite a delicate vessel, a good example is Verhaeghe’s Duchesse de Bourgogne Flemish Red Ale glass, chalices are heavier, made with thicker glass, Trappist & Abbey glasses are often good examples.

The wide mouth allows the complex aromas of ales to come through & the bowl shows off the liquid well.

Typically used for Trappist & Abbey ales, Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel & all strong ales.


Very similar in style to brandy glasses, they are stemmed and footed, bulbous at the bottom and narrowing all the way to the top.

As barley wines often have a poorish head, the narrowing mouth helps to exaggerate it whilst, at the same time, capturing the aroma.

Typically used for all Barley wines, Bier de Gardes, Dunkle Bocks, Foreign & Imperial Stouts, strong ales, Kriek, Eisbock, Flanders Oud Bruin & Red Ale, Strong Scotch Ale, Baltic Porter, Belgian Specialty Ale.


A footed glass, used by the Belgians for scotch ales, has a short stem, bulbous like a snifter at the bottom, flaring at the top like a pilsner glass, helping to enhance the aroma whilst aiding the head. This is a variation on the tulip glass & I suppose the very unusual Kwak glass could be placed in this category. Take care when drinking from these glasses, they are notoriously to clean, I prefer to get an expert to do the job - the wife!.

Typically used for Scottish Ales.


Tall, thin, footed with a short stem, often gold-rimmed. The delicate glasses are ideal for beers like Malheur Brut Reserve & Bosteels Deus that are re-fermented using traditional Champagne methods.

delicate, and show off the beer’s light, sparkling body.

Typically used for highly carbonated beers, lagers, Pilsners, Helles, fruit beers, bocks, Weizenbocks, Schwartzbiers, Bieres Brut, Lambics & their variations, Berliner Weiss, Flanders Red/Oud Bruins.


Often dimpled, which can make judging the appearance of the beer more difficult, the wide mouth releases the aromas nicely.

Typically used for full-bodied beers, brown ales, stouts, old ales, porters.


A stemmed glass, the obvious tulip shape enhances the aromas & supports good heads.

Typically used for stronger beers, Belgian Strong Ales, Abbey/Trappist, Flanders Red Ale, Quadrupel, Tripel, Saison, Lambics, Gueuze, Bière de Garde.


Sometimes referred to as a Tom Collins, the BECHER is very similar but narrows slightly towards the top. These tall, slender cylindrical glasses are of German origin (stange is a word for stick) and are used for their delicate beers.

Typically used for Altbier, Kolsch, Faro, Gose, Lambic.


A traditional German beer tankard or mug (stein means stone), usually made from pewter, silver, porcelain/ earthenware or glass. Usually they have a hinged lid fitted, opened by with a thumb-lever. Apparently the lid was originally added to prevent flies getting into the beer!

Typically used for all German beers.


These styles of glasses are typically short stemmed and the bowl sides can be parallel or tapered, even slightly convex, the bottoms can be rounded or square.

Typically used for Doppelbock, Porter.


The above (limited) descriptions are of what the glasses are supposed to do & a lot of the claims appear to be fairly valid to me.

Many glass styles have been omitted.

Several style names can cover the same glass, perhaps I should design a variation of a glass & have it named after me, it seems to have happened in the past.

It is not practical to have the “correct” glass for every beer so, in the words of the Bard, “Sod it!”


As with other stemware, the stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without warming the drink. The narrow bowl helps retain the Champagne's bubbles by reducing the surface area. While most commonly used for sparkling wines, flutes are also used for certain beers, especially Belgian lambic & gueuze, which are brewed with wild yeast & often fruited. The tart flavour of these beers, coupled with their carbonation, makes them similar to sparkling white wines thus making the Champagne flute an ideal choice.


The shape of the glass is important as it concentrates the bouquet. Generally, the opening of the glass narrower than the widest part of the bowl.


Glasses for red wine have rounder, wider bowls than their white counterparts thus giving the wine space to breathe. The wines often have particular styles of their own, such as:


A tall glass with a broad bowl, designed for full bodied red wines like Cabernet & Merlot as it directs wine to the back of the mouth.


Broader than the Bordeaux glass, it has a bigger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines such as Pinot Noir. This style of glass directs wine to the tip of the tongue.


White wine glasses are generally narrower than the red but not as narrow as champagne flutes, the bowl sides tend to be straight or tulip-shaped.


Very ornate glasses with long, normally “shaped” stems & the bowl is often coloured & decorated.  Hock glasses often come in sets with the bowls of different colours.


This style of glass is often stemmed with a tulip-shaped bowl.


The sherry glass is generally used for serving strong aromatic alcoholic wines such as sherry, port, aperitifs, liqueurs & layered shooters. The copita, with its aroma-enhancing narrow taper, is a common style of sherry glass.


There are three basic types of wine glass, Champagne, red & white. These types can then be sub-divided to individually styled glasses for individual styles of wine.


My wine glass conclusions are the same as for the beer glasses.


Any style of beer glass is suitable for cider but some glasses can really make it seem more inviting, like most things it is your personal choice that matters.


As mead is often believed to be the world’s oldest fermented beverage, made before the dawn of time then perhaps it should be drunk from a vessel that honours such prestige. Goblets/stemmed glasses are probably the best, use a beer-type glass for weaker meads & wine glasses for the stronger types, narrow glasses would help show off a sparkling brew & any delicate colouring.


Narrow glasses do not allow chilled drinks to retain their low temperature better as is quite often wrongly quoted. Basic “O” level differential Calculus shows that, for a cylindrical glass, the optimum ratio of wine depth (which is continually varying as you drink from/top up the glass) to the diameter is √2:1 or approximately 1.4:1. A glass with a spherical bottom, half-filled, will have a larger surface area than the optimum cylindrical glass for the same content volume. I know this is really epidemic as Del Boy would say, I just added it to back up my original statement.

Avoid handling a glass too much as this will really warm the contents, this is where the stemmed glass really scores but only when handled by the stem..

In sparkling wines, ciders, meads & beers, beads of bubbles can be seen rising from a few specific points inside the glass. This is called “nucleation”. The bubbles are carbon dioxide (CO2) & they rise from “nucleation points” on the glass wall, these points are small imperfections in the glass that trap tiny pockets of dissolved carbon dioxide. When sufficient gas is collected it is released in the form of a rising bubble. The process repeats its self whilst there is sufficient gas.

“Nucleation” in a glass increases if the glass is scratched or etched on the inside & the faster the nucleation the faster the carbonation disappears (your drink “flattens”). A smoother surface will produce a lot fewer bubbles in the glass but they will last longer. Duvel, Amstel & Foster’s are amongst the glasses which have nucleation points etched on the inside of the glass.

In the United Kingdom the standard sizes for beer glasses are the Imperial pint & the half pint although the “nip” (1/3 pint) can be used for the stronger beers. The UK pint is 20 UK fluid ounces (equivalent to 586ml). Being British the Government says wine & spirits must be served in METRIC units, the standard wine measure is 125ml or 1/6 of a (750ml) bottle) but the larger 175ml & the double measure of 250ml are becoming popular, allowing the masses to get smashed quicker, & reduce the amount of walking to the bar. A standard “shot” of spirits is 25ml.

No matter which glasses you settle for/prefer, the drinking temperature can have a noticeable effect on your drink. See my general guidelines on





Is all this for real or is it pretentious twaddle? I think there is definitely a lot of the latter involved. My research (please use the English pronunciation “ri-search” not the abominable “reeeesurrrch” sported by the populist media & adopted by the poorly educated & Americans) found all sorts of wild claims & duff info., most of which has been ignored, how can a specific shape enhance a certain feature in one glass whilst completely negating it in another glass? That was a typical example of the problems I encountered.

Just pour your brew into your favourite glass, settle back, relax & enjoy it! I must admit though, Duvel now seems to taste even better after buying a Duvel glass.


Pedantic Pete

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