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I am a beer glass addict, I have accepted this, and I know that I will never change. Travelling to Brussels in 2015 was what did it. There, every single beer was served in its appropriate vessel. A Belgian bar would no sooner serve Orval in a Chimay glass than they would serve soup out of a Guinness glass. In this review, I will be looking at some of the best beer glasses available to buy, and explain why I like them.
Belgian beer is a bit of a rabbit hole for me. This country insists on a specific glass for every beer, and they have a LOT of beers. I’m fine with this rule, but it does mean that you have to own a lot of Belgian beer glasses. What’s great about Belgian beer glasses is that they are works of art. Check out the design of the new Delirium Tremens glass (Amazon affiliate link). It’s beautiful, yet also functional.
The Belgians claim that each glass is designed to promote the unique flavours of each beer. This is why this Affligem glass is shaped so oddly compared to a normal glass (Amazon affiliate link). Check out my article on Affligem to learn about why I love it as a beer so much.
The Kwak glass is a lot of fun, it’s like a mini yard of ale glass (Amazon affiliate link), and it’s always a treat when you find a pub that serves it properly.
Orval is one of my favourite Belgian beers, and the glass is also my favourite. I waited 3 years before I was finally able to find it being sold in the UK, but now it can be bought on Amazon (Amazon affiliate link). The Leffe glass is always a good choice because this beer is easy to get a hold of (it’s available in most shops). The glass looks amazing too, with a beautiful stem, and a beautiful bit of artwork on the glass itself (Amazon affiliate link).
I learned the other day that the large glasses that Germans drink at Oktoberfest are not called steins, they are called Maß or Maßkrug. Steins refer to the ceramic or stoneware versions. I of course own several versions of each! I’d actually say that the Maß is better for drinking out of, and they are certainly cheaper. But steins tend to look nicer. You can pick up a really decent Maß from Amazon (Amazon affiliate link).
Having a good wheat beer glass is also a good idea. German wheat beers are often served in large glasses designed to showcase the wheat beer’s flavour. Erdinger’s (Amazon affiliate link) glass is ideal as it is well designed, looks amazing, and will help you pour your wheat beer correctly (the glass should be horizontal for most of the pour).
There are beautiful steins that are much more decorative than the glass versions, but I should warn you, steins with lids are often more trouble than they are worth. My dad finds them intensely annoying, then again, he keeps smashing his head on the lid. If you are smarter than my dad then a lidded stein such as this one (Amazon affiliate link) may be right for you.
Germany has hundreds of different glasses out there, but one that definitely stands out is the Kolsch glass. I’ve been to Cologne, where Kolsch is brewed and sold, and the glasses are absolutely gorgeous. These tiny, thin, highball glasses are carried across packed bars in a specially designed wreath. The server will then grab one of the Kolsch glasses and place it on your beer mat. They will do this nonstop until you place a beer mat over your glass to signal you are finished.
I’ve got a few Kolsch glasses, and they really are enjoyable to use. You can now find them on Amazon too (Amazon affiliate link) and they are ridiculously well priced.
When it comes to German and Belgian beers, I really want the correct beer to be served in the correct glass. But with craft beers, I’ve had to develop a new strategy. There’s just too many craft breweries out there. Also, their glasses are often pretty dull.
My craft beer glass system is simple. I buy Spiegelau glasses, which are absolutely superb, and match the beer style to the beer glass. They have a pilsner glass (Amazon affiliate link), which I adore. They have a really good IPA glass (Amazon affiliate link). Their stout glass is a gamechanger (Amazon affiliate link), and they even sell a decent set of wheat beer glasses (Amazon affiliate link).
The glasses feel really flimsy when you pick them up for the first time, but they are very durable and are expertly shaped. The stout glass in particular has completely changed my opinion on stout beers! They also look great on Instagram, which any true beer fan will appreciate.