The Willi Becher or Willybecher

Harpoon Octoberfest in a Willi Becher
Octoberfest beer in a Willy Becher

The Willi Becher is also known as the Willybecher or German-Style Pub Glass.

While not terribly popular here in the US this glass the go-to pint throughout Germany.

This German-style pint glass is similar to the shaker pint but about two-thirds of the way up its body the body tapers back inwards just slightly.

Some pilsner glasses have a similar design.

Benefits of a Willi Becher Glass

With it’s tall slender body and tapered head the glass shares a lot of function with the tulip pint glass.  The glass shows off a beer’s clarity, color and head in a rather striking way.  It’s tapered top also helps with head retention and trapping more elusive aromas inside the glass.

Larger versions of this glass also serve well for larger bottles of beer if you know you’ll be drinking at a “session” pace.

Other Notes

In the US, Willi Becher Glasses are typically 20 ounce glasses but you may also see them listed with sizes ranging from 0.2 l (roughly 5 ounces) up to 0.5 l (roughly 17 ounces) depending on the manufacturer.

What Beer Goes with a Willybecher Glass?

This glass pairs great with most german style ales and lagers so long as the ABV remains in the sub 6% region (give or take a bit.)  I specifically like them for märzens and rauchbiers.

You can also use the Willybecker to sub in for a pint or seidel when drinking something packaged in a 20 ounce bottle.

Where can I buy Willi Becher Glasses?

If you’re still starting your collection the Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Beer Glass Set that we’ve reviewed previously includes one as a “Craft Pub Glass” and is a pretty decent set-starter.  Outside of that you can also occasionally find them in Oktoberfest themed gift sets at your local liquor store.

If you’ve already got a decent collection of glasses I’d recommend just grabbing this in a four-pack of the Libbey glasses on Amazon.  They’re marketed as the Craft Pub Glass and can be seen below.

You should expect to pay around $4 a glass.

The Thistle Glass or Scotch Ale Glass

The thistle glass is a variation of the tulip glass designed specifically to look like a thistle. The glass is relatively tall, often holding between 15 and 20 ounces making it slightly larger than your average tulip. It features a long stem, pronounced bowl (or bulb), and is topped with flaring sides.

The design is specifically meant to resemble Scotland’s national floral emblem which provides a pretty direct clue towards its usage.

Benefits of a Thistle Glass

Like the tulip glass, the thistle glass has both formal and functional benefits. It’s pronounced bowl and flaring sides show off a beer’s rich color. The flared sides aid in head retention giving the beer something of a floral appearance – as if blooming in the glass.

These features also help with head retention (just like in the tulip glass) while the taller flared sides trap aromas in a space which delivers them easily to your nose and palate.

What Beer Goes with a Thistle Glass?

As mentioned, the thistle glass is designed to represent the Scottish thistle. That points us towards almost any beer listed as a Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy.

Scotch Ales are stronger, dark ales which tend to be on the the sweet side so you could also experiment a bit with Dark Ales or Quads if you wanted to change things up a bit.

Of course you could always just use a tulip glass in any of these cases.

Where Can I Buy a Thistle Glass?

These glasses will be a bit tricky to find.  I’m not familiar with any brewery’s that brand or package the style in the US (please let me know if you find one) and I’ve yet to see it turn up in any sampler packs.

Amazon has a 21oz “Super Thistle” for about $13 but given it’s rather niche roll in your arsenal it’s not something you really need to charge out and get.  We’ll keep this space updated if we see or learn more.

The Beer Flute or Flute Glasses

The beer flute is one of those glasses that kind of exists in between other styles. We’ll also use the word “flute” or “fluted” to describe certain categories of other glass.

By design these glasses are tall, very narrow, stemmed and hold smaller volumes of beer.  Some are cone shaped, some are tulip shaped, some are just straight edged like a stange.

With their tall and delicate stature you can’t help but turn up your nose a bit while drinking from them.

Benefits of a Beer Flute or Fluted Glass

In a lot of ways the flute matches the stange in both form and function.  Like the stange, the tall narrow body helps showcase the beer’s sparkling carbonation.  It’s narrow mouth also helps with head retention and concentrating volatiles right upfront and into your nose.

This is similar in many ways to what’s going on with the narrower versions of the pilsner glass as well.  What we dubbed the “European Pilsner” can also be called a “fluted pilsner” first, because it looks like a flute, but also because it shares some of these benefits.

What Beer Goes in a Beer Flute?

Generally speaking a beer flute will work for any light colored, crisp beer with lots of bright, sparkling carbonation.  If the bottle has a cork that might serve as a clue.

For specific styles, I really only reach for a flute glass when I’m drinking a lambic. Outside of that I’m typically happier using a pilsner glass, stange or chalice.

Where Can I get a Flute Glass?

For unbranded glassware you’re best bet is just to pickup some champagne glasses.  These are easily available at most Target, Walmart and Home Goods locations.  For fancier flutes you’ll want to look for lambic glasses or “fruit beer” glasses.

If your local beer bar serves lambics just ask if they turn their glasses over regularly.  These glasses are often decorated with a gold rim and brewery artwork that can wear down over time.  Restaurants and bars will sometimes throw faded glasses out or offer them up to regular customers as they replace them.  Amazon also has Lindeman’s lambic glasses for $15- $20 each.

The Tulip Pint Glass or Irish Imperial Pint

Tulip Pint with a Nitro Beer
Tulip Pint with a Nitro Beer

The tulip Pint is also known as the Irish Imperial Pint or Guinness Glass. While you’re likely to see this glass a lot it’s not quite as versatile as some of the other  styles of pint glass.

This glass gets its name from it’s familiar tulip shape.  Unlike shorter stemmed tulips its top lacks a flared mouth and instead ends with walls pointing straight up.  These glasses are almost always 20 ounces but some mild variation can occur.

Benefits of the Tulip Pint Glass

Like other pint glasses the most immediate benefit is volume.  The Imperial Irish Pint holds about 20 ounces which is plenty of space for a large pour while still leaving a generous amount of space for a beer’s head.

With it’s smaller base and more pronounced bulb some people might also find it a little easier to hold than the nonic pint.

These glasses also provide a good look at a beer’s deeper colors while the wide mouth helps support head retention.  Of course it also helps with taking large sips of “Nitro” beers that have thick frothy heads.  For nitros keep a napkin handy ’cause a milk beer-mustache is in your future.

Other Notes

There are smaller versions of this glass floating around in various different sizes.  Many will be branded “Guinness” but will only be 16 ounces.

You want to be looking for a 20 ounce glass.  Due to a quirk in how we deal with fluid ounces there might even be some small variation there but that’s OK.  A true imperial pint will measure just over 19 US ounces and for our purposes that’s pretty OK.

Just avoid the 16 ounce ones.

What  Beer Goes with a Tulip Pint Glass?

Most people know this glass as a Guinness Glass so that’s a good jumping off point.  Irish Stouts are so tied to this glass it almost feels wrong to drink them in anything else.  The same goes for Irish Ales.

After that any beer billing itself with the term “Nitro” is a safe bet. The wide mouth at the top of the glass makes a beer’s creamy head and body that much more tantalizing.

This glass also works well as a utility glass for any ales or lagers poured from a large bottle.  Personally, I’d avoid lagers and keep them in something like a large pilsner or a stange but it’s not a huge deal.  You’ll have to go back to the fridge to retrieve the bottle more often but it’s worth it.

I’d also avoid beers with really active carbonation, sour beers, or beers with higher ABVs.  Those are better suited to other glasses.

Where Can I Buy Tulip Pint Glasses / Irish Imperial Pints?

These are going to be some of the easiest glasses for you to get a hold of.  Every liquor store, box store, and some supermarkets are going to have them.  Just check for either a 20 ounce volume marker or the imperial crown either on the bottom or lip of the glass.

They’re also a common inclusion in most craft beer glass sampler boxes.

The Weizen Glass (AKA Wheat Beer Glass or Weizenbier Glass)

A Weizen Glass
Typical Weizen Glass

The Weizen Glass (or Wheat Beer Glass or Weizenbier Glass) is a tall glass with a narrow base and walls that flare out slightly.  Some versions of these glasses appear to be larger versions of the pilsner while others bulb outward and then taper back in.  This is the kind of “tulip bulb” look that’s almost similar to a Guinness Pint.

Another common feature presents as a type of twisting pattern along the outside of the body.  This  makes it look almost like the glass was “wrung out” as it cooled.

These glasses usually hold about a half liter which accommodates the larger volume of most wheat beer bottles.  Smaller versions often turn up for use in bars and breweries to offer a kind of “half-glass” option when pouring from a tap.

Benefits of The Weizenbier Glass

While they can be a bit top heavy and tippy, the weizen glass’ shape is easy to hold and carry.  Usually the narrower portion of the glass is large enough to be held comfortably while the flaring at the glasses foot and upper body allow for more volume.  The texture that many of these glasses have, also aid in holding the the glass similar to how the dimples on a seidel work.

This shape isn’t just about grip, though. It’s narrow middle helps showcase a wheat beer’s familiar color and (usually) unfiltered goodness while the wide mouth helps support the beers thick white fluffy head.

The bulb, and wide mouth, also help to collect and concentrate the beer’s familiar banana-like esters and spicier notes.

What Beer Goes with Weizen Glass?

This really doesn’t pose much of a challenge, this glass is made specifically for wheat beers.  This includes both dark and pale wheat ales and gose beers.

Where can I buy a Weizen Glass /  Wheat Beer Glass?

These glasses are often included in most craft beer glass sets like the Libbey set we’ve already reviewed.  Because of the style’s popularity you’ll also frequently find them in the glassware section of places like Target and Home Goods.

The Beer Goblet or Oversized Wine Glass

A Leffe Beer Goblet
The Leffe Beer Goblet

Similar to the chalice a beer goblet is a stemmed beer glass with a large bowl shaped top.  While the chalice is is a bit more stocky the goblet has a bit more of a refined look.  They tend to be a bit taller with thinner stems and they often very closely resemble a large wine glass.

Chalices also tend to be more bowl shaped while goblets are more rounded or balloon shaped.

The beer goblet (or oversized wine glass) can range from 8 to 22 ounces with larger glasses being on the more delicate side.  This is especially true when you’re subbing in a more modern oversized wine glass.

A lot of other sites will combine the chalice and the goblet for pairing purposes and that’s a fair approach.  We chose to separate them because there is definitely an aesthetic difference that’s worth noting.

Benefits of a Beer Goblet / Oversized Wine Glass

These glasses are similar to chalices and snifters in that they provide a wide bowl which showcases a beer’s color and clarity.  The bowl shape also traps more delicate aromatics in a concentrated space.

If you don’t have beer goblet you could easily sub in either a chalice, tulip or a snifter.  I’d recommend snifter for lower carbonation beers and chalice or tulip for higher carbonation ones.

What Beer Goes with a Beer Goblet / Large Wine Glass?

While the glass is kind of a stand-in for other glasses I’d still recommend it for glasses with less active carbonation.  Sour ales, saisons, wild ales, farmhouse ales, barley wines, and wheatwines fit nicely with the glass.

Again, these are lower carbonation beers with more delicate or nuanced aromas that help with enhancing flavor.

Beyond that, it can be used as a substitute for a tulip or chalice when they’re unavailable.

Where can I buy Beer Goblets?

I have a few Leffe Beer goblets that I picked up as bar promotions but they also turn up at liquor stores with more diverse beer selections.  Outside of that you’ll mostly be looking to grab a 22 ounce wine glass which can be found at box stores like Target and Home Goods and in the wine section of most liquor stores.

 

The Pilsner Glass and European Pilsner

Mama's Little Yella Pils in a Pilsner Glass
A Conical Pilsner Glass

Like the tulip glass, the pilsner glass comes in a variety of different shapes.  A basic pilsner glass typically has a narrow base with sides that flare outward.  Some versions of this glass look like an elongated tulip pint.  Others are more cone shaped.  Some are also very similar to a wheat beer glass.

A stemmed version of the pilsner glass is also known as a European pilsner.  European pilsner glasses typically have a short stubby stem which blends seamlessly with the glasses tapered walls.  They can resemble stretched out versions of tulip pints, willi bechers or fluted glasses.

You may also see taller stemmed pokal glasses referred to as pilsner or lager glasses.  I’ve included several pictures below for comparison.

Pilsner glasses can be 12 to 16 ounces depending on the style.  Bigger glasses exist but tend to overlap into the Wheat Beer Glass category.

Benefits of The Pilsner Glass

With it’s tall narrow body the pilsner glass behaves a lot like the stange.  It’s shape showcases a beer’s clarity while it’s top narrows the surface area helping with head retention.  Because pilsners are crisp and bright beers this helps with delivering some of the beer’s more delicate aromas.

What Beer Goes in a Pilsner Glass?

As the name implies, this glass is ideal for beers of the pilsner style.  This includes most pale lagers.

Because the glass is so similar to the stange and fluted glassware it can also be used for for  kölsch-style beers or even lambics. I also sometimes use my pilsner glasses for 12 ounce bottles of wheat beer.

The basic idea is that you’re looking for beers that share characteristics with the pilsner style.  That includes beers with clear pale colored bodies, medium to sparkling bright carbonation, and a crisp bubbly head.

Where can I get Pilsner Glasses?

Libbey has a four-pack of “Classic Pilsner” glasses for around $14 on Amazon. They’re 15 ounce glasses making them a bit big for your standard bottle of beer but they’re high quality glasses.  The same glass is also available in the Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Glass Set we’ve already reviewed.

Libbey also offers what they call a “Midtown” Pilsner in the same price range. These glasses are more like a narrow version of a wheat beer glass.

The quintessential pilsner is probably Pilsner Urquell.  They offer a couple different types of branded glassware including a stemmed pokal glass and a tulip-flute style pilsner glass.  Both of these also make great additions to your beer glass collection.

The Beer Snifter or Large Cognac Glass

Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout in a Beer Snifter
Pumpkin Stout in a Beer Snifter

The beer snifter is short, stemmed, glass featuring a wide round bottom and tapered top.  You can find snifters in sizes ranging from six ounces up to 22 ounces.  Beer snifters are typically in the 12- 16 ounce range.  These glasses are often made of thinner, more delicate glass but some glassware sets will have thick-walled sturdy versions as well.

This glass is also often referred to as a “balloon glass,” or over-sized brandy / cognac glass.

Benefits of the Beer Snifter

The beer snifter excels at holding some of a beer’s more ephemeral aromas and flavors in a tight space.  Its wide round base and tapered top trap everything in a space where it can be delivered directly to your nose while sipping.  This is especially true for beers with little to no carbonation.

The glass’ shape also helps with heat transfer.  As you hold the glass, warming your beer slightly, more delicate scents and flavors become unlocked.  Cold, dark beers might initially taste “like a stout” from the glass but as the beer warms and you inevitably swirl it around you’ll start to get those hints of cocoa, mocha, peet, or fruit that were hidden away.

How to Drink from a Snifter

The iconic image of a snifter typically involves a Bond villain swirling the glass between sips, maybe holding it up to the light to look inside and admire the color of what is almost certainly an evil cognac.

This is exactly how you want to drink from your snifter.  As you work your way through the beer swirl the glass slowly aerating your beer.  Take a sip, enjoy, swirl, sip, repeat.  For a good beer you’ll notice that the flavor starts to shift the more you drink and the more you swirl.

It’s very much like drinking good scotch or brandy … which brings up another point.

When pouring into a snifter keep the liquid portion of your pour (not counting the head) to just around the part of the glass where it begins to curve back in.  Yes, you may end up pouring a 12 ounce beer into three or four glasses but over-pouring kind of works against this glass’ benefits.

What Beer Goes with a Beer Snifter

You can use a beer snifter for any beer which has been aged, especially when aged in barrels. Similarly, some beers that you chose to “cellar” might be worth pouring into a snifter.

I’m also partial to using the beer snifter for dark beers that mention chocolate or coffee in their billing.  Stouts and Porters that are higher ABV (Imperial Stouts for example) will also find typically end up in a snifter.

If you’re a big hop-head you might also look to a snifter for some lower carbonation IPAs.

Where Can I buy a Beer Snifter

I’d recommend looking for snifters or cognac glasses in the 12- 20 ounce range.

A four piece set of 12 ounce cognac glasses sells for around $15.  While a four piece set of 16 ounce glasses is more like $30.

You may also find a few tulip glasses, like the one included in the Libbey set we’ve reviewed previously, are close enough to snifters to fit the bill.  Just under-pour the beer as mentioned above for best results.

The Beer Seidel or Dimpled Mug

Beer Seidel filled with Stout
A Beer Seidel or Dimpled Mug

A seidel is a wide-mouthed glass mug with thick walls and a sturdy handle.  They’re often dimpled and can be short and rounded or large and barrel shaped.

These beer mugs are made with thick, sturdy glass walls and a strong handle which makes them easy to hold and carry.  They commonly hold about 20 ounces but larger versions certainly exist.  Bigger, barrel shaped beer seidels can hold up to 44 ounces.

Seidels (especially the over-sized ones) are sometimes referred to as “steins” but steins are earthenware (vs glassware) and are much more ornate and decorative.

Benefits of a Seidel

The most immediate benefit of the seidel is it’s wide mouth.  It provides you with plenty of space for taking deep sips while getting a good sense of the beer’s aroma.  The glass’ thick walls, handle (should you use it) and short stature also provide a degree of insulation that help keep your beer at quaffable temperatures.

In practical terms the seidel is probably one of the most sturdy of all the beer glasses.  With it’s thick glass walls and handle it’s not something that’s going to be easy to break.  Due to its proportions this mug is also pretty difficult to tip over.  The glass’ dimpling also makes it easier to hold.  These glasses are pretty decent utility glasses for serving soda, floats or milkshakes to kids.

When it comes to the drinking experience there’s also something visceral about holding a beer seidel.  They feel good to hold and to drink out of.

Other Notes

Frosted mugs are great for soda, frappes, and floats.  Not for beer.

Avoid freezing or chilling seidels.  As cool beer hits colder glass condensation can form leading to unintended moisture watering down your good beer.  So skip chilling whenever possible!

What Beer Goes with a Seidel or Dimpled Mug?

Normally you’d pair porters, stouts, and german style lagers with a seidel.   Beers with strong malty flavors and lower hop profiles are also great choices.

A seidel can also be used for serving cream ales, scotch ales and even rauchbiers. Basically anything with a medium to thick body.

Where Can I Buy a Seidel?

You can find 20 oz dimpled beer mugs like the one pictured above for about $11 a pair on Amazon.  44 oz steins and can be found for around $13 a piece.

The Tulip Beer Glass

 Ballast Point Red Velvet on Nitro in a Tulip Beer Glass
Ballast Point Red Velvet on Nitro in a Tulip Beer Glass

The tulip beer glass is similar in stature to the snifter but rather than ending at a taper, it flares out at the mouth. The flaring at the top of the glass can be relatively mild or rather pronounced depending on the glass maker. Below you’ll see a variety of different tulip glasses.  They’re all tulip glasses but they’re slight variations are worth examining.

You may notice that the term “tulip” is also used to describe other types of glassware.  Glasses like the tulip pint glass and Stella Artois’ Tulip Chalice either end mid bulb or round back in slightly.

Benefits of the Tulip Beer Glass

You’ll usually be using the tulip glass for beers which pour with thick foamy heads or lots of effervescent bubbles.  The bulbous body and tapered neck of the tulip beer glass helps to support this head and capture volatiles in and around the glass’s mouth.

When you’re drinking from this glass you’ll be able to pick up on some of the beer’s more subtle characters which might otherwise be overwhelmed in a glass with a larger mouth.

What Beer Goes with Tulip Beer Glasses?

The tulip glass is also occasionally called a “Belgian Ale Glass” which can give you a clue where to start.  This glass will handle most Belgian ales including Darks, Pales and Strongs.

The glass also goes well with double and imperial IPAs.  Because it focuses subtler characteristics, it’s great for picking out hoppy or floral notes over some of the alcohol bite that comes with the finish.  The same is true for wild ales and farmhouse ales.

A modified, or tweaked, version of the tulip beer glass is the thistle glass.  If you don’t have one of these the tulip will serve well for Scotch Ales as well.

In all, the tulip glass is pretty versatile!  There are some that even argue it may be the only glass you need in your collection … but where’s the fun in that?

Where can I buy a Tulip Beer Glass?

Libbey has a great starter set called the “Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Clear Beer Glass Set.”  This set includes a “Belgian Ale Glass” which is essentially a taller version of the tulip glass.  This set runs about $30 on Amazon but can be found for around $20 in places like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

La Chouffe, Duvel, and Tripel Karmeliet often have gift sets around the holidays which contain tulip glasses as well.

There are also sets of four Tulip Beer Glasses available on Amazon for around $15.