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 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.
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.