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 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 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.