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.

The Beer Chalice or Belgian Ale Glass

Chimay Beer Chalice
Chimay Chalice at

The Beer Chalice is a stocky, stemmed beer glass with a wide mouth and thick walls.  They’re often decorated with an ornate stem, gold or silver rim, and some type of etching in the base of the bowl.  These beer glasses are stable, sturdy glasses which are ideally suited for “sipping” beers.

Chalices are similar to beer goblets but different enough to get their own category.  Goblets are typically taller, thin walled, and thin stemmed.  They’re also less likely to have some of the decorative features common in goblets.  Things like gold plated rims, etching, or embossing on the stem and bowl.

Benefits of a Beer Chalice

With its ornate design the beer chalice has obvious visual appeal.  It’s thick walls provide some extra insulation and the thick stem helps make it more stable than other stemmed glasses.  The wide mouth and etching (when applicable) also help with head retention.

The wide mouth makes it easier to take larger sips of whatever you’re drinking.

Other Notes

Some people consider beer chalices and beer goblets to be interchangeable.  Personally I think there’s enough of a difference to keep them separate.  It’s also fair to say that there are several glasses out there that kind of fall in the middle.  Leffe’s goblet is kind of like a chalice and Westmalle’s chalice is kind of like a goblet.  There’s a lot of overlap between glassware and style so it’s not the end of the world.

There are also a few outliers.  Stella Artois, for example, calls it’s glass a chalice despite it being more like a tall tulip pokal.  Duvel’s glass is also occasionally called a chalice.  That’s basically marketing and branding though … which is totally OK.

What Beer Goes with a Beer Chalice

Beer Chalices are typically reserved for Belgian and French Ales.  Specifically Dubbels, Tripels, and Quadrupels (Quads).  It’s also popular for Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

This beer glass also works well with higher ABV highly carbonated beers.

Where can I buy a Beer Chalice

Most well stocked liquor stores will have occasionally have Chimay or Westmalle gift boxes which include a few beers and a chalice, especially around the holidays.  The Chimay set I see regularly includes three beers (a dubbel, tripel and quad) along with the glass so it’s a great opportunity to try a few new beers as well.

You can also buy Chimay Beer Chalices and Westmalle Chalices through Amazon.  If you’re looking for a beer chalice that’s not branded libbey offers a “Hoffman House Goblet” which fits the bill.  Expect to pay around $20- $25 per glass.

The best deal, in my opinion, is to watch for the gift sets at your local liquor store.  You may even be able to order them there directly.