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Proper Glassware for Bier

Willi Becher glass with Spatan logoIf you are ever in Germany for a special meal, one of the many things you will notice will be the glasses used at meal time.  If you would like to be able to show off to your friends, and show them how much you know about proper glassware, read on.

When it comes to beer glasses you have many choices. While these are the basics, there are even more glasses to choose from. Remember each glass was developed for a particular type of beer. The proper choice of glass will depend on the type of beer you are serving.

A Pint glass is a standard beer glass with slightly tapered walls. Primarily used for English- and American-style lagers and ales ranging from light lagers to imperial stouts. The Pint glasses come in two sizes: Imperial 20 ounce (570 mL) (English standard) or the US 16 ounce (470 mL) pints.

A Pilsener (or Pilsner) glass is a long, narrow glass with walls that taper towards the base. Used to consolidate volatiles and support delicate heads of Pilsners and other lagers. The name Pilsner comes from Pilsen, a city in Bohemia in the then-Austrian Empire. The Pilsner beer was first produced there in 1842.

A Weizen glass is a large, curvaceous glass, bulbous near the mouth to support and showcase the heads of weizens and other wheat beers. Wheat beers are also called Weiss bier, Hefeweizen, Weizenbier, Weisse, or Wheat Ale. The wheat beer is typically made up of about 50% of malted wheat and unless filtered this beer has a bit of a cloudy affect.

A Seidel glass is a German-style mug, typically one half to one full liter; it classically holds great volume and has handles and thick walls to help maintain a cool temperature. You will find this same type of glassware made out of earthenware, ceramic, porcelain or a metal version is called a stein.

A Tulip glass is a bulbous glass with a trumpeted mouth and short stem used to capture aromas and support large heads of artisanal Belgian ales; Double IPA’s and barely wines. They are ideal for swirling beer to release volatiles. Many have etchings on the bottom of the inside of the glass to stimulate carbonation, aiding in head retention. A tulip glass may be substituted with an oversize snifter.

A Chalice or Goblet glass is a wide-mouthed, bowl-like, stemmed glass, often with metal linings. Used for serving Trappist ales (beers brewed in monasteries by or under control of Trappist-Cistercian monks) and other abbey-style ales. Like tulip glasses, they are often etched to stimulate carbonation. Chalices may be substituted with an oversize red wine glass.

This is just a partial list of all of the wonderful glassware that is used to serve a proper bier. The glass above with the Spaten logo is called a Willi Becher.  We will add on to this list ,but, what are your favorite glasses to use and why?

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