Specialized drinking vessels have been a part of beer culture for thousands of years. They come in many shapes and sizes. Not to mention the variety of materials. But they all have the same goals. Delivering beer to the lips in a pleasing way that celebrates a beer’s complexity.
Today we are looking at some historical drinking vessels. Examining different modern glassware. And looking into the future of the humble beer glass. But don’t forget that a good beer should come from a good bottle. So be sure to check our article Common Causes & Remedies of Exploding Bottles in Homebrewing
Ancient History of Drinking Vessels
Until 150 years ago the beer glass was not even likely made of glass at all. Glass was rare and expensive material. It had required skill and craftsmanship to make. Well-to-do people were the first who started using glasses regularly.
Golden Cups of the Old
Found in the Royal Chamber. The golden tumbler of Lady Puabi. It was created for showing wealth and status. It made a great discovery. Ended up paying homage to the importance of beer in the ancient world.
The ancient culture of Northern Peru in South America was also drinking from golden cups. They were brewing a corn-based beer called chicha. Golden cups kept appearing in rituals. The beer was apperaing in daily life.
First real glasses start to appear
In the 17th century in Northern Europe taverns already started offering a large beer glass. They were called passglas. This vessel is a direct ancestor to the modern Pilsner glass. It had markings with rings as part of a drinking game.
The glass would be filled with beer. Each drinker would be expected to drink exactly to the next line. Punishments would be doled out for missing in either direction.
Germans and Austrians are known for their Beer Steins. Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have a lot of personality. Also are perfect for outdoor drinking.
Modern times glassware
It wasn’t until machines began producing glassware in the late 18th century. When everyone started enjoying drinking beer from a glass. As glass-making technology advanced and sped up. Brewers and drinkers started looking for glasses. Making sure that they could enhance the flavor experience of a good beer. Leading to an explosion of varieties of glassware. It can be intimidating for other people. We will continue in covering with few of the most common types.
Infamous Shaker Pint
They are called Shaker Pints. Originally meant to be used for making cocktails. Bars like them because they are cheap and stackable. Also, they have a nice serving size. They are a standard beer glass throughout the US.
Tulip Pint and Nonic Pint
Tulip Pint does a great job of collecting the foam of Irish Stouts. Nonic Pint is the English standard. The bump in the middle keeps the rim from chipping. This makes it handy for drinking while standing. Especially in a crowded pub.
Tulips and Snifters as beer vessels
Tulips and snifters as small glasses are famous for funneling the aroma of liquors. Mostly whiskey and brandy. Scaling them up they enhanced the aromas of the beer. Tulips specifically have a nice inward taper. It supports the head of the beer. Due to that, they are the most well-rounded glassware. Tulips and snifters are doing a great job. They are excellent in enhancing the aroma of beers in any style.
Pilsner, Weiss and Popular Bavarian Seidel
Tall glasses like a Pilsner glass and Weiss Glass taper outwards to disperse the foam. More suitable for styles with strong carbonation. They have evolved from tall communal glasses of Northern Europe during the Middle Ages.
Popular Bavarian Siedel is a beer mug made for small beers. And of course the Oktoberfest. It evolved from clay and metal mugs. With Siedel people could finally see all the beautiful German beers in the glass version.
Future to come
Never before have drinkers have so many options. Especially when it comes to glassware. And it hasn’t stopped some from innovating further. There is always room for improvement.
Bottoms-up beer is revolutionizing the pouring of beer from the bottom up. Using a seal in a magnet in the bottom of the glass. The system allows pouring to be hands-free. Freeing up bartenders for other tasks. Definitely, a unique concept that will be great for bar owners.
There you have it. The past, present, and the future of drinking vessels. It’s interesting the see the evolution of your common beer glass. From ancient golden cups, we kept admiring. To modern magnet glasses. Just don’t forget. It’s all about the beer. No glass can hide or make beer taste. We don’t mind serving great beer in an ordinary glass.
We are still hoping that this helps. Especially if you are choosing your own glass. Fitting your first beer into it is an amazing experience. Keep sharing your story. Keep creating great beers. We are sure they will be tasting great. Using a special glass is always good. Enhancing the taste of your beer. Making it more special. More personal and precious. Enjoy every sip. Cheers.