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 Stange or Stick Glass

Beer Stange
Beer Stange at Amazon.com

The beer stange is a tall, thin, cylindrical glass that traditionally holds about 6.5 oz (200 mL).  The traditional version of the stange is very similar to a tasting glass or highball glass but without the tapering sides.

Newer versions of the beer stange come in 12- 13 oz sizes to facilitate holding full bottles of beer or for making serving easier.

Because these glasses are tall and narrow they can be difficult to transport from a bar to a table.  As a result, it’s not uncommon in Germany to see waiters carrying beers in a special tray called a kranz.  These serving trays can be branded metal trays with a particular beer or breweries logo or they can be simple wooden trays similar to a tasting paddle.

Kranz Beer Tray
Kranz Tray for holding Stange Glasses

Benefits of a Beer Stange

The tall thin glass is great for head retention in what are usually lower carbonation beers.  This also focuses the beer’s aroma right under your nose helping with enjoyment of the more mild flavors of the beer.  The beer stange’s shape also helps to showcase the clarity of styles like kölsch.

It’s shorter height and narrow body are also kind of practical.  Because the stange is favored for lighter crisper beers you’ll want to drink them quicker – especially on hot summer days.  The small glass, even the narrow tall glass, makes for quick drinking!

What Beer Goes with a Beer Stange?

Traditionally kölsch beers and altbiers favor the stange but any light crisp beer will benefit from it.  This includes Rye Beers and lighter pilsners.

You can also enjoy some darker, cloudier beers from a stange. Gose beers, rauchbier, and Lambics can also be enjoyed in a stange.  If you look at the Lindeman’s Flute Glass you’ll see it that it’s similar in style to both the stange and the straight sided pilsner glass.  Rauchbier is usually drunk from a becher (or willi becher) which is similar to the taller stange though usually a bit wider.

Where can I buy a Beer Stange?

Walking into a local box store or home goods store you won’t find anything listed as a stange.  Instead you should look for highball glass or “Tom Collins” glasses.  If you can only find the larger style of the glass don’t sweat it.  At the end of the day you’re not looking for the rapid fire service a 6.5 oz glass provides.  Expect to find something in the 10- 17oz range instead.  Even if the glass has a slight taper it’s not the end of the world.

KegWorks sells 200ml Stange glasses for about $11 a piece through Amazon.  You can also get 16oz Tom Collins Glasses at four for $15.  I’d also recommend checking the glassware section of your local Walmart or Target.