A lot of people do not realise the importance of the beer glass. The glass you pour your beer in, especially the shape, influences the taste you get when you drink. When you taste beer from a glass, your smell will have a significant impact on the experience.
Tasting beer starts with smelling the beer. You can either stick your nose in the glass, or (a little crazy but true) put a bit of foam on your hand and sniff it. The smells and aromas will intensify if you do so. Most fragrances from the beer come from the hop. If the beer has a steel fragrance you will smell that very clearly from the top of your hand. When you drink the beer straight away, all these aromas will get lost.
If you want to drink your beer chilled, for example a weizen, pilsener or white beer, you choose a thicker glass. The thick glass will slow down the warmth of your hand warming up the beer. The glass will usually have a straight and sleek design. Because the opening is not very big, you will not smell much.
A beer with more hop, like IPA, will also get a straight glass. Though with this kind of beer the glass can go slightly outward. This shape is often called a pint. Drink this beer slightly warmer than a pilsener. You will smell the aromas of the different hops better.
Double or blond beers are best enjoyed from a stemmed beer glass. The shape is round and the opening is slightly smaller than the part of the glass that holds the beer. This shape is called Trappist glass. The aroma will leave the glass when you take a sip, which makes the taste and the fragrance combine and strengthen each other.
When tasting tripels, quadrupels, imperial stouts and double bocks the process takes a bit longer and so the opening of the glass can be a bit smaller than with a blond or double. This glass can be called a Snifter, the smell will linger longer with this type of glass. This will make sure you can enjoy the aromas until the very last sip.
More luxurious or primitive beers are perfect to go all out. Use long, thin glasses on a stem. The sour taste will outperform the fragrance, so the opening doesn’t have to be big. Always keep in mind that the bigger the glass, the heavier the stem may be. You don’t want your beer to fall over.