Choose the Right Glass for Your Beer

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By Niko Krommydas
This article was originally published on Edible Manhattan.

According to the Good Beer Seal, members are “committed to the presentation, promotion and enjoyment of good craft beer… serving these beers the way brewers have intended, including proper glassware.”

Why is “proper glassware” so important, though? I’ll start with a quote from Marc Maron.

Maron is a neurotic, candid, compelling, cat-hoarding comedian and host of the addictive podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. He is also a vinyl addict.

It’s not surprising, then, that the audiophile’s preference is analog, not digital. He once said, “Hearing [Van Halen’s debut album,] Van Halen on the turntable through the big speakers is a great experience. It’s like you’re hearing it for the first time. I don’t really know how to explain it but there’s a distinction of sound on vinyl that you don’t get from listening to the digital track. That depth of sound is missing from digital. You can really hear the dynamics of the music on vinyl.”

Similarly, the use of proper glassware can accentuate a beer’s dynamics and elevate the drinking experience. James Tai, in-house Cicerone (essentially a sommelier for beer) at Urbo NYC, agrees: “Beer delights the senses with color, aroma, flavors, and tactile nuances. The proper glass can make all the difference in bringing out the best of those qualities.”

We recently visited with Tai and Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 and organizer of Good Beer Month, for the skinny on selecting glassware. The duo explore four types, which are each listed below:

Credit: Bormioli Rocco

Pilsner Its slender shape efficiently displays and maintains the style’s trademark clarity, effervescence, and color, and the straightness enables the hydrostatic pressure to shove the beer into your mouth. This results in a bigger, refreshing gulp.

Credit: Bormioli Rocco

Wine Glass A wide and spacious vessel ideal for nose-based exploration, so cannonball, nostrils-first, to swim in the aroma. It’s the most versatile of the four, too: viscous stouts, pungent IPAs, and tart gueuzes, for example, are all allowed.

Credit: Bormioli Rocco

Tulip A bulbous figure centerly inverted to contain volatiles, with a popped-out lip to support a foamy head. It’s stemmed, enabling easy grabbage and swirlage (and prevents temperature fluctuation). This is my glass for Belgians or Belgian-styles, though the previous glass is also great. Duvel’s is the prototype.

Credit: Bormioli Rocco

Imperial Pint This can house four more ounces than the standard pint in America—20 ounces to 16 ounces, comparativelyI’m sold!