Does what you sip out of really matter? Or is a fancy glass just another layer of pretense in the craft beer industry? We won't comment on the latter, but the answer to the former is a resounding yes.
"Different glassware shapes and styles are used specifically to highlight or accent different properties of each beer," said Ian DuVall, a server at Bittercreek Alehouse.
Here's a quick guide to help you match a vessel with your next pour.
Appropriate styles: Whatever is nearby
Details: A pint glass is the standard for bars and households around the world—but a poor way to actually serve beer. Be better than the pint glass.
Pilsner Glass/Weizen Glass
Appropriate styles: Light beers—Pilsners, blondes and witbiers
Details: Tall and slender, these designs let drinkers appreciate the color, clarity and bubble trails in lighter beer, as well as retain the head for aromatic effect. Typically Pilsner glasses hold less beer than pints. They're fun to look at, and more fun to drink from.
- Imperial Pint
Appropriate styles: Session beers and lagers
Details: Similar to the American pint glass, a nonic is fairly all-purpose, but in contrast to the pint it actually enhances the drinking experience. It's a glass designed for easy swigging, with a wide mouth and a slight convex curve near the top to prevent slippage.
Appropriate styles: Aromatics—IPAs, double IPAs, and Belgian and Scotch ales Details: The short stem and wide bowl of this glass allow ales to warm while you're drinking, concentrating the aromas in hoppy and malty beers. It also provides ample room to swirl and sniff, if you're so inclined.
Appropriate styles: Double/imperial stouts, Belgian dark ales, barleywine and imperial IPAs
Details: This glass is best for darker, stronger, boozier beers. Sellers claim it concentrates a brew's aroma and helps its head stick around.
- 'Das Boot'
Appropriate styles: Oktoberfest, witbier and other German beers
Details: This style is popular during Oktoberfest celebrations and as a challenge at many bars. Legend has it the shape began with a Prussian general, who agreed to drink a beer from his boot if his soldiers delivered a battlefield win. Today's version is slightly more sanitary.