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Issue Date: December 2008

Head of the Glass

Beth Stallings
You poured what in a pilsener glass? “For shame!” scold the guys at Bier Markt in Ohio City, where each of their 99 Belgian brews is served in its proper glass. Free your ale and let it breathe the way it was designed to, says manager Mike Foran.

“Your beer needs to get oxygen to release all of the aromas,” he says. “It’s not just about tasting. You have to smell it to really get the full flavor.”

These six basic glasses are designed to help specific beer styles achieve their highest potential in aroma, flavor and head. 
Tulip 1] Tulip - The glass’s rounded bottom and inward curve near the top force pressure on the beer, helping it carbonate and form a head, while the fanned-out top allows aromas to run wild.

Best with:
Belgium ales such as Duvel
Pilsner 2] Pilsener - It’s not a naturally foaming beer, so the champagne-flute shape helps force a constant upward circulation to create foam.

Best with:
Pilseners — and only pilseners. High-gravity beers would overflow.
Goblet 3] Goblet - Any beer has potential in this glass, thanks to the rounded bottom that keeps those bubbles moving and the wide mouth that lets your beer breathe.

Best with: Darker, intricate beers rich in texture and aroma, such as Chimay
4] Pint - Look familiar? This staple glass is the most popular style in the United States.

Best with: IPAs, stouts, American pale ales, wheats and most lagers
5] Snifter - Not just for warming brandy, the short and stocky shape helps carbonate heavy beers.
Best with: Styles high in gravity (alcohol content), such as St. Bernardus
Wheat 6] Wheat - The tall, cylindrical shape and rounded bottom allow for a constant circular carbonation and keep the wheat from settling at the bottom.

Best with: Wheat beers such as HoegaardenHead of the glass

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