Choos­ing mug a glassy af­fair

Find the shape that best suits your favourite brew

Isis Town and Country - - EASY EATING LIFE - Letea Ca­van­der

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.

True­ 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.

Beer mugs

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.

Tulip glasses

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.

Pil­sner glasses

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 beers­burg­ 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.

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