Choosing mug a glassy affair
Find the shape that best suits your favourite brew
IT SEEMS for every kind of beer out there, these days, there is also a type of beer glass the drinker should be using with it.
However, this is not a new phenomenon.
Truebeer.com reported breweries of the mid-1800s found they could use glasses as a marketing tool.
It was a kind of Victorianera value-adding to the beers on offer.
Maybe the Macca’s up-sell is not a modern business technique after all?
Apart from containing the beer back in the day, beer mugs served functional purposes.
Lids were added to beer steins in the 1300s to help drinkers keep flies and fleas out of their drink, in an attempt to stop the spread of the Black Plague.
Predating glass was material including stoneware, pewter and silver.
With the rise of craft beer, glassware seems to have become increasingly important.
Marketing tool or not, there are a gazillion beer glass types out there.
Here are four of the shapes that one might stumble across.
Ye olde beer mugs have been around for quite some time and were developed from the German stein.
Before you write this glass shape off as an Oktoberfest gimmick, remember there is a reason pubs across the world serve brews in these bad boys – they are durable and they keep beer cold because drinkers hold a handle, which means no body heat transfer to warm up the brew.
Really, it’s simple but it’s genius. Best used for: ales and lagers.
Not all pint glasses are created equal.
There is a country-bycountry definition of the size and, to some extent, the shape of a pint glass.
The common Aussie pint glasses include the nonic glasses that are cone-shaped but have a bulge at the top of the glass, and the conical glasses that are shaped like a cone without the bulge.
Drinkers might also come across a tulip-shaped pint glass that is narrower at the bottom and bulges about the middle of the glass.
The nonic glasses were developed because they were easier to stack and did not nick as easily as other glassware – and so the ‘no nick’ glassware became the ‘nonic’ pint.
Some pint glasses are made with etchings at the bottom of them, which is supposed to encourage gas release in the beer and preserve the brew’s head for longer.
Nonic and conical best used for: ales, lagers, steam ales, stouts, IPAs, pale ales.
Best used for: Irish-style ales , but pretty much anything can be drunk out of a pint glass which makes it an old, reliable favourite.
A popular craft beer glass, the tulip is bulbous at the bottom, tapers in and then flares out at the lip.
I was first served beer out of a glass like this in Belgium and, when drinking a 9% or more beer, it is important to maintain the beer’s head during sipping, which is what this glass shape encourages. Best used for: Belgian ales, IPAs, pale ales.
A classy-looking glass that is tall and slender and tapers. It’s kind of the supermodel of beer glassware.
The slender shape shows off the beer’s colour and the taper maintains the beer’s head. Best used for: pilsners, but light beers are often also served out of these glasses.
For more go to beersburgers.blogspot.com.au or follow along on Instagram @snail_ales.
MANY CHOICES: The nonic, tulip,tulip-pint or Irish pint, pilsner and beer mug or 'dimple' glass.
A pilsner glass.
A beer mug or 'dimple' glass.
A nonic pint glass.