We're far more interested in what's inside our beer glassware than its design, but that hasn't stopped us from filling up our cabinets with all manner of serving vessels for our favorite libations. In many cases, glassware has developed in tandem with beer styles and drinking particular beers gains an added dimension when you drink the right beer out of the right glass. Though some glass designs have developed only to achieve a certain visual aesthetic there's usually more to the story. Most glassware features specific traits that highlight the unique characteristics of the beer style they were meant to hold.
Clear golden beer seems passe now but when pilsner beer was invented in 1842 its stunning good looks caused a sensation. Drinkers had never seen anything like it and the pilsner glass has evolved to showcase the brilliant clarity of the golden beers. Pilsner glasses are sometimes gently curvy and sometimes straight walled but they always stand tall so that you can admire the bubbles rising to the top. In Germany a stemmed version of the pilsner glass is referred to as a pokal. The effect is similar to a champagne flute, but the pilsner glass should be wider at their rim than their base to show off the long lasting foamy head.
What it's best for: Drinking brilliantly clear pilsner beers.
Credit: Courtesy Spiegelau