If you drink beer out of a can or bottle, try this experiment: Open a can or bottle of beer, smell it and then take a swig. Let your tongue's taste buds savor the flavor. Take the same can or bottle of beer and pour it into a clean glass. Smell it and you notice that with the slight head (or foam) gives a richer aroma than than the can or bottle. Now take another swig of beer from the glass. The flavor will seem richer than straight out of the can or bottle. The combination of smell and taste brings out the distinctive ingredients of the beer.
Glass is fragrance free and allows the taste of beer to emerge. When poured into the glass, the beer aroma comes forth and tantalizes the taste buds.
Glassware shape intensifies the beer drinking experience. The correct glass shape allows the foam to rise from the bottom of the glass, which directs the aroma into your nose and prepares the tastebuds to anticipate the taste. The foam in the glass is necessary because the head traps undesirable ingredients derived from yeasts and malts.
The following glass shapes bring out the best qualities in different types of beers.
*Wheat Beer (Weizenbier) glassware is for wheat beers. It is taller than a pint glass. The bottom is ultra skinny (in order to trap the yeast) and gradually widens up to the top.
*Pint glassware holds 16 ozs. It is cone-shaped for American lagers. Beers used in pint glasses: amber ales; brown ales are unfiltered; India Pale Ales (IPA) - English Brewers made this beer for export to India, and used hops to preserve the beer for the long voyage; Porter beers have a strong malt flavor that reminds one of chocolate, caramel or toffee; Stout beers are similar to Porter beers in flavor; white ales are often sweet with citrusy tart finish.
*Pilsener Glassware is the ideal glassware for light beers. It is tall, slender and tapered with no curvature. The Pilsner glass show color, effervescence, and allows the beer to maintain a nice head. Beers used in Pilsener glasses: Bock beer is a German brewed, strong beer; Dark lagers use roasted malts that give the dominant taste; Pale lagers are what most Americans think of as beer because of the pale amber color;
*Flute glass shows off Belgian iambic beers and lighter fruit beers. The narrow shape of the glass displays lively carbonation, sparkling color and the head has a soft, lacy look.
*Goblet or Chalice glassware is interchangeable. The main difference between the two is the thickness of the glass. The bowl stemmed shape is the same for both. Manufacturers etch the bottom of the bowl to keep carbon dioxide down. This allows a stream of bubbles to work up to maintain a continous head throughout the drinking process. The Chalice (Goblet) is for heavy, dark Belgian ales or dark German beers.
*Snifter glassware is associated with serving cognac after a meal. For beer lovers, it captures the aromas of Belgian ales and pale ales. The beer drinker cups the bowl with a hand to warm the ale and swirls it to produce an intense aroma. This allows the connoisseur to use both senses when drinking and heightens the enjoyment. Barley wines are served in this glass or the Tulip beer glass.
*Tulip beer glassware traps aroma of Belgian and aromatic beers. It has a bulbous body and it tapers just before the lip flares out. This creates both a visual and aromatic sensation. The shape helps retain the head.
Beer has as many nuances as wine. The true beer drinker recognizes and uses the appropriate glass to savor the individual taste of each type of beer.