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.
Stanges are the traditional serving glass for Kolsch in Cologne. While the stange looks suspiciously like a water glass it's actually perfectly designed to showcase the unique appeal of the Kolsch. The classic stange holds just over six and a half ounces of beer although versions that make it over to America are often larger. While small glasses get emptied more quickly, the shorter drinking time is the whole point. Kolsch's are crisp, delicately flavored golden ales with low carbonation. By keeping the pour small you give them less of a chance to get too warm or lose their light fizz. In Cologne they keep the beer flowing by serving Kolsch in a carousel called a kranz, or wreath. The kranz features slots to fit in several stanges at a time and it makes for a great presentation of the brilliantly clear beers. As patrons finish their stanges the waiters will replace their empties with full glasses until the drinker pleads for mercy.
What it's best for: Drinking large amounts of Kolsch out of a great many glasses. We recommend the Captain Lawrence Kolsch.
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