Choosing the correct size and shape of the glass/mug can enhance your senses and help to better understand the characteristics of beer.
It turns out, that the way in which beer is poured into a mug or a mug is also important. Froth on the top of beer acts as a lid keeping the volatile particles of beer inside. The aroma and flavour of beer determines how the froth is made and how it stays. Of course, froth is not equally important for every type of drink. Therefore, it is important to properly select a beverage glass depending on the type of drink. Temperature is also important, as beer is consumed chilled. However, if you serve too cold beer, some of its flavour and aroma properties may be reduced. But, perhaps, it is better to have it colder than too warm – you can always wait until it warms up a bit.
Cleanliness of a pint or a mug is seemingly a matter of course. However, it is really very important – even the smallest residues of soap, dust, or even lipstick may permanently spoil good beer. Wash your mugs with gentle dish soap, best by hand, because aggressive dishwasher chemistry can leave its trace, changing the froth structure and the taste of beer. Keep mugs vertically on a shelf or upside down in a grid in order to dry them. Drying is best as towels can also leave micro particles on a wet glass wall.
Beers of the lager family are usually sold ready to drink. They remain like this for approximately half a year, and some can be used for up to a year.
Lagers are served chilled to 4-6° C in the elongated mug or a glass. It can be a flute-shaped glass or a mug. Before pouring beer, the mug first should be rinsed with cold water in order to keep the froth. Tilt the mug and slowly pour beer over the wall in order to prevent the formation of froth, until you fill two-thirds of the container. Then keep the mug straight and finish pouring beer by slightly lifting the bottle, in order to produce about two fingers thick froth. Use a knife or spatula to blow up the largest bubbles, and froth will persist longer.
Some ales, usually strong, undergo secondary fermentation in bottles, therefore they can be stored for several years. Ideally, they should be stored at 6-10° C in a dark room.
Ales are served chilled to 5-12° C. Ales are poured into a dry mug. It is not always necessary to tilt the mug, it depends on the type of beer and froth consistency. If beer was not pasteurized and matured in a bottle, leave a bit of beer in the bottle to prevent sediments from entering a mug. White beers should be served very cold, while strong beers that are fermented for a second time in a vat, and can be served at a higher temperature.
Lambics are served in oblong glasses, similar to the lager cups, at about 5° C. Their froth quickly evaporates and disappears, therefore if you want a beautiful “hat”, do not pour over the mug wall.
Tulip (glass). These cups have curves on the top to preserve the strong, long-lasting froth and the bubble helps to maintain strong flavours. It is almost the best shape to hold volatile particles. This shape is recommended for tasting the Scottish and Belgian ales, lambics, hard ales, barley wine and other types of beer with strong body and aroma.
Tumbler. This is a massive thick glass beaker. It is used for light ale, Belgium hoegaarden, and sometimes German wheat beers.
Snifter. The wide bottom on a leg is designed as if to concentrate the essence of all beer at the bottom and the narrowing at the top helps keep the flavours in. A subtle shape allows you to “flush” beer, thus further enhancing the smell. In this mug aroma and taste is locked, but then reveals itself in the aftertaste. It is suitable for fragrant beers, and heavier types with more alcohol – barley wine, Scotch, and Belgian ales.
English pint. This is an English-type mug that holds a pint of beer (about 0.6 litters), it is exceptional for a short curved thickening on the top of the glass. It is certainly used for English ales and English lagers. It is very easy to drink beer from any type of pint in big enough gulps.
Pint. A standard pint that has a very wide use and is suitable for almost all types of beer. In particular, it is good for beer with hops, simply exhilarating with aroma, which is not necessary has to be trapped in the cup. It is perfect to reveal the characters of ales. Pour American ales, amber lagers, and sometimes American wheat beer to your pint.
Flute. Flute-shaped glass best preserves beer bubbles and reveals the aroma bouquet. It resembles a champagne flute, just has a little shorter leg. Use it for beer with strong carbonation, bright colours, such as lambic, gueuze, bock, wild ales, saison beer, and of course, bière de Champagne, featuring champagne type bubbles.
Pilsen glass. Tall and thin cone-shaped pilsner glass is great help to release the bubbles and demonstrate the transparent beer colour. Spacious upper part of the cup preserves a strong froth. Used for pilsners, light lagers, bright Munich helles and schwarzbier beers.
Footed pilsner glass. Another stylish interpretation of the pilsen glass on a leg. Well wider at the top, the glass slightly narrows in the upper part. Recommended for tasting rather than sniffing. The perfect way to reveal pilsner properties and show the pilsner transparency.
Lager glass. The elegant shape of the glass for good demonstration of beer characteristics, emphasising its excellent colour and carbonation. It’s capacity is less than a pint, therefore the glass is very appropriate for bottled beers. Wide top helps to keep the froth.
Weizen glass. Wheat beer glass shaped like a hourglass. It can hold half a litre of beer and still leave space for froth. The narrowing on the bottom is good for settling brewer's yeast while significantly wide upper part of the mug takes good froth, which is specifically important for the wheat white beer and is designed to keep the flavour in the cup. Thin walls are perfect for showcasing the expressive colour of wheat beer.
Dimpled mug. These are classic thick glass mugs prevalent in North America, England, Germany and Eastern Europe, with concave and sometimes rough walls and a comfortable grip. High capacity, sometimes even up to a litre. The upper part is broader than the bottom part. Those mugs are most commonly used for American, German and British light lagers.
Mug. Traditional beer mug may not have significant scientific justification for imparting flavour and text, being more of a tradition and habit. Designed for large quantities of beer, sturdy, to survive strong cheers and heavy use in pubs, also widely used in beer festivals. Suitable for various types of beer – light lagers, wheat beer, light ales, or German marzena beer.