Decatur Wine and Spirits
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Goblets and Draughts: Beer Glassware

glassJust as wineglasses are designed to enhance the flavor of wine, the truth is that many beers will also benefit from the proper service.

But while some labels are adamant about the type of glassware needed, chances are that you already posses the proper implements to truly bring out a beer's inner flavors.

Keep It Clean and Neat
Of greatest importance is to use a clean glass. Even trace amounts of oil or soap can kill the head, resulting in an unappetizing appearance and texture.

In the same vein, it is often best to use a glass with a stem. Holding the glass from the stem both prevents the glass from getting dirty while ensuring that the beer does not get too warm from excessive handling.

Otherwise, the key to a good glass is finding one that will release the aromas in the same way that wine glasses allow wine to open up and release its flavors.

As a result, almost any stemmed wineglasses will also work for beer--whether you are serving a golden ale or Russian stout.

Types of Beer Glasses

Flute Glass: Enhances and showcases carbonation.

Goblet: Allows for a good head

Mug or Stein: Holds the most beer

Pilsner Glass: Shows off the coloration

Pint Glass: Cheap and easy to drink from

Snifter: Enhances the malt and hop flavors

Tulip: Supports large foamy heads

Weizen: Allows for a large head and volume

Visit Beer Advocate for
details and pictures.

Red versus White
Aperitif beers such as pilsners, golden ales, triples and wheat beer will both look elegant and remain the proper temperature in white wine glasses such as champagne flutes.

For dark beers, red wine glasses are preferable. Unlike the white wine glasses, the red wine glasses allow for cupping the bowl of the glass to warm the beer when it is too cold outside for ice cold brew.

Going Traditional
Of course, you don't need to use wineglasses. Another good option is to use a goblet. These goblets are widely available in most department stores.

But the best thing for certain beers is to use a traditional glass. For instance, the typical Bavarian weissbier is best served in a tall glass with a broad foot in that a weissbier has high carbonation and fluffy head that requires a glass that can handle plenty of foam.

Another reason to stock the proper glassware is to provide the appropriate atmosphere. In Europe, for instance, Belgian wheat beer is often served in a tumbler to show off the golden color and tempt the drinker to take deep draughts.

Another popular form of glassware is the pint glass, which imparts the proletarian sense of drinking in a "pub" or bar.

From the Brewery to the House
While finding the proper glassware might appear difficult, most breweries also offer the proper glasses for the beers that they brew.

These glasses are often available at good beer shops and stores such as Crate and Barrel.

Stress Free is the Best Key
Although the proper glassware can enhance the experience, it is important to remember that the proper glassware is not an absolute necessity.

If you are at a picnic or barbecue, the proper glassware should be the least of your worries. At this stage, plastic cups will serve just as well.

While most people will not use plastic at the dinner table, most people also do not take their best China to the park.

So whether you are drinking at home or outdoors, have fun first and worry about the appropriate service later.

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