Experience a brew’s nuance and complexity with craft beer glasses

By Sean Timberlake

It’s no news that the shape of a wine glass brings out the nuances of a given wine, thereby enhancing your experience of it, so it should come as no surprise the same holds true for beer. Naturally, Spiegelau, the esteemed producer of Bavarian artisan glassware, understands this. Working with top American craft brewers, they’ve developed a set of glassware specially designed to bring out the characteristics of three major styles of brews.

The large bowl of the wheat beer glass captures the typically delicate aromas of the beer and delivers a sip evenly across the palate; the IPA glass is designed to elevate the beer’s hop-forward notes while retaining a frothy head; and the bell-shaped stout glass accentuate the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate notes characteristic of the style. Open bottom glass bases refresh the head with each sip, pushing aromatic notes to the forefront. The result of the development and testing numerous prototypes, each of these designs promises to deliver a more satisfying aroma, texture, and flavor. Stock up on some craft beer and judge for yourself.

Tasty tidbits
  • Many of the country’s leading craft brewers were tapped to test and develop these glasses, including Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, and Rogue Ales.
  • The Speigelau Craft Beer Glasses received the prestigious Red Dot Award for excellence and innovation in design this year.
  • Drinking beer from right size glass delivers more aroma to your olfactory sensors, greatly enhancing the flavor, as compared to drinking from a bottle.

How to really pour beer

How you pour beer is as important as what you pour it into. First, make sure your glass is clean; oils or residue on the glass interfere with forming a good head. Tilt the glass 45 degrees, and pour aiming towards the middle of the glass. When you reach the halfway point, turn the glass vertical and pour the remainder of the beer into the center to form a foam head. A proper foam head delivers most of the beer’s aromatic qualities.