If you have ever been to a semi-decent bar and ordered a beer, odds are it comes in a specific drinking glass. If you have been drinking beer long enough, you notice that different types of beer are served in different glasses. If anything, you have at least poured a generic beer into a red solo cup at one point in your life. But what do all these have to in common? Taste.
If mankind has achieved one thing in life, it is the discovery that beer tastes different depending on the drinking mechanism it is served in.
Bottled beer is almost always served in a darker brown bottle. This is because exposure to light gives the beer a “skunk” taste. The sunlight accelerates the fermentation process to a point that makes the beer unsavory to consumers.
Moreover, beer tastes different in bottled form compared to it being served in a certain type of glass. Over the years, different types of glasses have been developed to unleash the full flavors of each type of beer.
For example, the Snifter, a wide-bowled and stemmed glass, are best used for the stronger smelling beers. The shape of the glass allows the consumer to whirl the beer around to release the volatiles of the drink.
The Tulip, a wide-bowled and stemmed glass that pushes out at the top end, are best used for IPA and dark stout beers. The top of the glass allows the foam (head) to consume more surface area to naturally release volatiles without the need for swirling.
These are only two quick examples of the dozens of glasses available to the public. Not only do glasses serve different scientific purposes, but they also add an element of uniqueness to beer brands.
Guiness, an Irish made dry stout, is synonymous with the Tulip glass. As one of the leading beer makers in the world, glasses play an almost equally important role as the beer itself.
So next time you are at a bar enjoying your beverage of choice, remember that the glass it comes in has been years in the making to give your beer a slightly better flavor or appearance.