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Does the style of glass really matter when drinking beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Alextricity, Jan 22, 2013.

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Does using a particular drinking glass really matter?

  1. Yes.

    173 vote(s)
    71.5%
  2. No.

    69 vote(s)
    28.5%
  1. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    It seems like a lot of people swear that a snifter or tulip is "required" to fully experience one style, and then others use nonic pints for others, etcetera. I can't say there are any times where I "should" have been using a tulip and kicked the wall because I couldn't taste, smell, or experience the beer fully. I figure that so long as the beer is in a clean glass, regardless of the shape, you'll be fine. Is there any sort of science to prove that the shape changes anything? I know pouring into a glass helps because when you take a drink your nose goes into the glass and you can just taste/smell the beer a lot better overall.

    Also, I'm adding a poll because I know a lot of people lurk threads without posting.
     
  2. I do have a moderate collection of different styles of glassware, but a lot of that is because I enjoy collecting things and find using different glassware fun. At the end of the day, as long as I'm not drinking from a bottle, I don't particularly mind what kind of glass I'm drinking from.
     
  3. To me it matters. I can take a big BA stout and put it in a normal pint glass or I can put it in a tulip and both will taste great. The difference for me is the mainly in the smell and aromatics of an ale. Certain glasses help me in smelling the beer which is a HUGE part of tasting.
     
  4. crossovert

    crossovert Champion (790) Illinois Mar 29, 2009

    There are nuances to certain glass styles. Generally if you use a tulip for any beer but an adjunct lager,low alcohol, malt liquor, or light lager you should be fine. The shape of the glass maximizes the aromas.
     
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    The only thing that matters in the size of the opening of the glass. It's pretty common sense that the smaller the opening the more concentrated the aroma will be coming out. Outside of that, I do not believe shape or size of the glass means anything, it's all just personal preference.
     
    jglowe77, gshak and azorie like this.
  6. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    It can't be that huge of a part if they "both will taste great." regardless of the glass...
     
  7. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (475) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    It absolutely matters.
     
  8. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    Care to explain..?

    As Hanzo said, it matters if there's a smaller opening, but other than that. Why do you say the shape makes a difference?
     
  9. codysjb

    codysjb Savant (400) Florida Jun 16, 2010

    The both TASTE great but they dont both hold the aroma and nose. Like with wine glasses, the aroma and smell of the beer is greater if there is a large, air filled portion of the glass that holds the smell (like in a red wine glass or tulip/sniffer). Being that a majority of how we interpret flavor comes from smell rather than taste, this has a huge impact. If you dont believe me try drinking a stout right out of the bottle without sniffing it then pouring it into a glass where it has room to breath, you'll notice a difference.
     
  10. Of course it does.
    Which is why I always drink out of a red Dixie cup. Some people prefer Solo, but Dixie has never let me down. The plastic adsorbing the beer really balances the beer out.
     
    HarryPotHead, jrnyc and evilc like this.
  11. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    I said in my original post that I already know it makes a difference to pour, and that smell+taste are really similar/close... I don't like drinking craft/good beer from a bottle for that reason.
     
  12. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    Does the style of glass really matter when drinking beer?


    That would have been a pretty good comment if I had said "cup" though.
     
  13. codysjb

    codysjb Savant (400) Florida Jun 16, 2010

    But the amount of room to breath and concentrate aromas in a sniffer/tulip verses no room in a pint is what were getting at here. More room = more concentrated aromas = better flavor
     
  14. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

  15. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    Can't argue with that.
     
    YogiBeer likes this.
  16. Depends what you mean by "really matter".

    Does your glassware choice completely kill a beer or make a mediocre beer excel? No.

    But if maximizing enjoyment of beer is important to you, especially if you dropped serious cash on a particular bottle, then yeah you should seek out an appropriate glass.


    My tulip (or any glass with a tapered opening) gives me the most concentrated aromas, so I use that most often at home. And I love a beer's aroma just as much as it's flavor.
     
    seplo, YogiBeer and LeRose like this.
  17. Not really, otherwise the beer wouldn't still smell and taste awesome when tailgating, camping etc. . .

    (Says the guy w/ about 100 different pieces of glassware, sigh).
     
    2beerdogs and humalupa like this.
  18. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    I figure that so long as you aren't like... pouring a small amount of beer into a big glass, it doesn't really matter. But no matter what, the last few sips ought to be the least enjoyable, because they're further from the nose.
     
  19. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    I got one of those glasses for free at the Sam Adams Brewery when I was in Boston, and I've used that for about half of the beers I've had, and then standard pint glasses for the other half ... I haven't noticed a difference in any of the beers that I had one of in each glass. I feel like I worded that oddly. Oh well.
     
  20. JoeyBeerBelly

    JoeyBeerBelly Initiate (0) New York Dec 15, 2006

    Every beer tastes better when it's in a frosted beer mug!...

    [​IMG]
    I'm just joking, seriously though I do find myself using a non-frosted beer mug for a lot of styles but I always use a tulip/snifter for Imperial/Double beers and a chalice for most Belgians so I voted "yes".​

     
    dachshunddude86 and davey101 like this.
  21. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (545) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    I'm not a total fanatic about it, but I can tell that it makes a difference in the overall sensory experience (visual appeal, aroma, taste). The right glass enhances things and I don't think it is subjective. There is definitely science involved, but as stated already it isn't going to make the mediocre great or vice versa. I have a hard time picking out any differences between my stemless tulip/snifter type glass (OK...WalMart white wine glasses) and the Sam Adams perfect pint glass - taste/aroma seems very similar on the same brew. But between either of those and a plain old pint glass, some of the intensity is lost especially in the aroma. In my opinion, the visual is part of the sensory experience too - whether it is the right glass or just a nice glass to capture that visual thing I don't know. But when I look at the pics posted in the daily what are you drinking thread, some pours just look spectacular and make me want to drink the beer (or sit at my desk and drool during lunch).

    My opinion is the glass just adds to the experience, so why not try and use the "right" one. SWMBO got me some Spiegelau glasses for Christmas, and I love 'em and can't really say why - they are just "better" (if the damned tulip would just come off backorder...) YMMV...
     
  22. I do think its personal preference and agree with all the comments here already, i like to use goblet wine type/style glasses for strong ales and barley wines, and tall glasses for bitters and lagers.....somebody once said to me ..you wouldn't want to serve champaign in a plastic mug.....

    Some beers definitely look better and more appealing in stylish glasses...and lets face it many beers are far superior to champaign....a nice picture often looks better in a nice frame....and a nice beer will always look better in the appropriate glass imo..
     
  23. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (600) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    The right glass will enhance the drinking experience. (It may be a minor enhancement, but it does make a wee bit of difference.)
     
  24. vader06

    vader06 Aficionado (205) Michigan Jan 13, 2011

    It makes a big difference drinking from a glass.
     
  25. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (475) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    Presentation, temperature control (stem), surface area, tapering in or out for aroma concentration/retention, comfort in hand, comfort on mouth, historical appreciation, etc.
     
  26. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) California Dec 10, 2011

    Well I prefer to not be drinking out of a glass with a shattered rim, otherwise, they're all about the same.

    Otherwise, I prefer stemmed tulips so I can look down my nose and past my ginormous beer belly to sneer at all the newbian retards drinking their crafty beer. Blue Moon my ass.

    And as always, Pinkies OUT Bitches!!!
     
    2beerdogs and jglowe77 like this.
  27. Icarus

    Icarus Aficionado (215) Minnesota Oct 6, 2012

    Bypass the glass and drink straight from the barrel. ;)
     
  28. A snifter allows a greater surface area to come in contact with the hand which leads to greater transfer of heat into the imperial stouts, barleywines, and old ales I like so much.

    In this event, it really matters to me.
     
    jglowe77 likes this.
  29. azorie

    azorie Advocate (725) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    I cannot tell the difference myself. until i open my eyes.:D
     
  30. As long as it's clean and has enough of an opening to get a good nose-ful, it's all good.

    I would imagine that even the majority of BAs can't really detect any difference, it's more of just a matter of using what is in each person's mind is the "right" glass.
     
  31. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,170) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    Tapered glassware will concentrate the aromas to a point, / \ usually making it easier to detect and enhance aromas and sometimes flaws. Which is why lots of people prefer snifters, globes, wine goblets and so forth, versus classic non tappered glassware \ / shaker pints etc... since the aromas just open up and can escape. It's very subtle sometimes, other times not so much. Also depends on how you pour. It also depends on the beer, some bouquets are so large that you will still get something off of them even in a shaker pint.

    Other glassware physically can show off a style much more impressively. Tall pilsner glasses and pokals, Belgian tulips and chalices unique to each own brewery. These show a range of colors, and in the case of the pilser glasses, they show a great amount of rising carbonation, and of course throw in the champagne flutes when appropriate also to really get a wow factor. Stemware (as opposed to pints) will also help keep your hands off the glass (if you use them) preventing you from dirtying it's appearance (smudges, fingerprints), and warming it up (which has its benefits also).

    Color and bouquet is part of the experience. Do you absolutely have to have the correct glass all the time? Of course not (one part of that is you just may not have access to one), but it greatly enhances the experience which is what we are all out there for. Do I have a distinct Belgian glass for every beer out there? no, but for my favs I sure do. Grab maybe 2 for each style of beer you drink often, you'll slowly start finding your favorites.

    Often I still use nonics cause they are practical, and fit well to style sometimes, they are easier to just carry, but for beers you want to really accent aromas you probably want a nice tapered glass. Either way, you'll live.

    All depends on what experience you want to have.
     
  32. Does not matter, as long as it is open at the top and you can get your nose in! That is what she said.....
     
  33. I notice quite a difference. I have a fairly strong sense of smell. For example I had some Celebration last night in a regular pint glass. I usually drink it in my New Belgium globe. While it was still delicious, I get way more fruity scents when drinking from the globe. It's not a big enough diff for a lot of people, and it isn't the end of the world for me. Would I prefer a tulip or snifter? Why sure! But I'll drink my shaker pint of whatever and be happy too! Does it matter? Well, if I spend $10+ on a bomber, you'd better believe I'm gonna do what I can to get the best experience I can.
     
  34. jglowe77

    jglowe77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jan 24, 2011

    I think this is the most reasonable explanation of the glass-choice issue.
     
  35. jglowe77

    jglowe77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jan 24, 2011

    Only beer noobs drink with the pinkie in. o_O
     
    Jason and 2beerdogs like this.
  36. nc41

    nc41 Advocate (650) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008

    Really matter? No. But I hate shaker pints, prefer tulips and red wine glasses.
     
  37. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Champion (765) California Jan 31, 2005

    A difference, yes. How much, usually slight. At times, not noticeable. Re Dixie cup? NOOOO! But I wouldn't turn it down if it was a good one. Then again, great glassware with Bud Lite, or other swill, I'll pass.:)
     
  38. --Dom--

    --Dom-- Savant (355) Missouri Dec 22, 2012

    The shape of the glass affects which part of the tongue whatever you're drinking comes into contact with first. It's why you can drink the same beer out of two different glasses and it'll taste different. Try it if you think I'm crazy. A wine enthusiast explained it to me a while back and it makes perfect sense to me. Its why you drink different wines out of different glasses, the same principle applies to any drink.
     
    albertq17 likes this.
  39. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (555) California Dec 12, 2009

    Actually, the beauty of science is that it is always open to question and revision!
     
    dachshunddude86 and davey101 like this.

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