Beer glassware

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Beer glassware (from left to right): Pilstulpe, tasting glass, snifter, Willi Becher Michaeljacksonbierglazen.jpg
Beer glassware (from left to right): Pilstulpe, tasting glass, snifter, Willi Becher

Beer glassware comprise vessels made of glass, designed or commonly used for serving and drinking beer. Styles of glassware vary in accord with national or regional traditions; legal or customary requirements regarding serving measures and fill lines; such practicalities as breakage avoidance in washing, stacking or storage; commercial promotion by breweries; artistic or cultural expression in folk art or as novelty items or usage in drinking games; or to complement, to enhance, or to otherwise affect a particular type of beer's temperature, appearance and aroma, as in the case of its head. Drinking vessels intended for beer are made from a variety of materials other than glass, including pottery, pewter, and wood.


International styles

Pilsner glass

Pilsner glass from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg Schloss Eggenberg Hopfenkonig.jpg
Pilsner glass from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

A pilsner glass is used for many types of light beers, including pale lager or pilsner. Pilsner glasses are generally smaller than a pint glass, usually in 200 millilitres (7.0 imperial fluid ounces), 250 ml (8.8 imp fl oz), 300 ml (11 imp fl oz), 330 ml (12 imp fl oz) or 400 ml (14 imp fl oz) sizes. In Europe, 500 ml (18 imp fl oz) glasses are common. They are tall, slender and tapered. The slender glass reveals the colour, and carbonation of the beer, [1] and the broad top helps maintain a beer head. [2]

Weizen glasses are sometimes mistakenly called pilsner glasses because they are somewhat similar in appearance, but true pilsner glasses have an even taper without any amount of curvature. [3]

Pint glass

The definition of a pint differs by country, thus a pint glass will reflect the regular measure of beer in that country. In the UK, law stipulates that a serving of beer be fixed at the imperial pint (568 ml ≈ 1.2  US pints). Half-pint glasses of 10 imp fl oz (284 ml) are generally smaller versions of pint glasses. Quarter-pint glasses of 5 imp fl oz (142 ml) also exist, and are popular in Australia (now 140 ml from metrication), where they are known as a "pony". These may simply be smaller pint glasses, or may be a special pony glass. In the US, a pint is 16 US fl oz (473 ml), but the volume is not strictly regulated and glasses may vary somewhat. Glasses of 500 ml are usually called pints in American parlance.

The common shapes of pint glass are:

Connoisseur's glassware

Beer connoisseurs sometimes invest in special, non-traditional glassware to enhance their appreciation. An example was the range marketed by Michael "Beer Hunter" Jackson.


A snifter Cognac glass.jpg
A snifter

Typically used for serving brandy and cognac, a snifter is ideal for capturing the volatiles of aromatic beers such as Double/Imperial IPAs, Belgian ales, barley wines and wheat wines. The shape helps trap the volatiles, while allowing swirling to agitate them and produce an intense aroma.

Taster glasses

Glasses holding 1/3 of a pint or less may be used to:


Plastic beer vessels are usually shaped in imitation of whichever glasses are usual in the locality. They are mainly used as a substitute for glass vessels where breakages would be particularly problematic or likely, for instance at outdoor events.

German, Austrian, and Swiss styles

Weizen glasses

A weizen glass with a fill line. Weizenbier.jpg
A weizen glass with a fill line.

A weizen glass is used to serve wheat beer. [7] Originating in Germany, the glass is narrow at the bottom and slightly wider at the top; the width both releasing aroma, and providing room for the often thick, fluffy heads produced by wheat beer. [8] It tends to be taller than a pint glass, and generally holds 500 ml (78 imp pt) with room for foam or "head". In some countries, such as Belgium, the glass may be 250 ml (12 imp pt) or 330 ml (58 imp pt).[ citation needed ]

Wheat beers tend to foam a lot, especially if poured quickly. In pubs, if the bottle is handed to the patron for self pouring, it is customary for the glass to be taken to the patron wet or with a bit of water in the bottom to be swirled around to wet the entire glass to keep the beer from foaming excessively.[ citation needed ]

Beer stein

Beer stein or simply "stein" ( /ˈstn/ STYNE) has been for over a century an English expression for a traditional German beer mug made out of stoneware, whether simple and serviceably sturdy, or elaborately ornamental with either a traditionally cultural theme, or so embellished as to be sold as a souvenir or a collectible. The former may be made out of stoneware, but rarely the inferior earthenware or wood, while the latter is usually of glazed pottery, but often porcelain or pewter, or even silver or crystal. It may have either an uncovered mouth or a hinged pewter lid with a thumb-lever. The capacity of a German "stein" indicated by its fill line on its side ranged from "0.4l" (4 deci-litre), through "0.5l" (half a litre) or a full litre (or comparable historic sizes). Like decorative tankards, steins are often decorated in a culturally nostalgic, often German or Bavarian, theme. Some believe the lid that excludes flies from the beer today was originally intended for those so diseased in the age of the Black Plague. [9]


A Masskrug can be made with stoneware or glass. Jubilaumskrug Worth Donau 1979.JPG
A Maßkrug can be made with stoneware or glass.

The Maß ( [ˈmas] ) is a one-litre (1.8-imperial-pint; 34-US-fluid-ounce) quantity of beer, most commonly used in Bavaria and Austria. [10] It is served in a Maßkrug (pl. Maßkrüge), which is sometimes simply referred to as a Maß. As a feminine noun, it is die Maß, though commonly confused with the grammatically neuter noun das Maß, meaning "measure". The unit of volume is typically used only for measuring beer sold for immediate on-site consumption. Because the Maß is a unit of measure, it can come in the form of a glass or stoneware mug.

The endurance sport of Maßkrugstemmen involves holding a filled, 2.4-kilogram (5.3 lb)Maß at arm's length. [11] The world record is 45 minutes and 2 seconds. [12]


Dunkel beer in a Stange Lemke dunkel beer in glass.jpg
Dunkel beer in a Stange

The high, narrow and cylindrical Stange (German for "stick" or "rod", plural Stangen) is traditionally used for Kölsch . A Becher, traditionally used for Altbier , is similar, though slightly shorter and fatter. The Stange usually holds between 100 and 200 ml (18 and 38 imp pt), though larger ones are now sometimes used to reduce serving work. Stangen are carried by slotting them into holes in a special tray called a Kranz ("wreath").[ citation needed ]

Willi Becher

Standard Willi Becher Helles im Glas-Helles (pale beer).jpg
Standard Willi Becher

The Willie Becher glass is common in Germany. It is characterized by its shape: conical to the top portion where it curves inward to converge back to the top of a smaller diameter opening. The Willi Becher is produced in sizes of 200, 250, 300, 400, and 500 ml (0.35, 0.44, 0.53, 0.70, and 0.88 imp pt; 6.8, 8.5, 10.1, 13.5, and 16.9 US fl oz).

Beer boot

German "Beer boot" BeerCup.jpg
German "Beer boot"

Boot- and shoe-shaped drinking vessels have been found at archaeological sites dating back to the bronze-age Urnfield cultures. Modern beer boots (or Bierstiefel  [ de ]) have over a century of history and culture behind them. It is commonly believed that a general somewhere promised his troops to drink beer from his boot if they were successful in battle. When the troops prevailed, the general had a glassmaker fashion a boot from glass to fulfill his promise without tasting his own feet and to avoid spoiling the beer in his leather boot. Since then, soldiers have enjoyed toasting to their victories with a beer boot. At gatherings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, beer boots are often passed among the guests for a festive drinking challenge. Since the movie Beerfest premiered in 2006, beer boots have become increasingly popular in the United States. [13]

It is an old joke to hand the boot to a young novice drinker with the toe pointing away from his person, which will result in beer pouring over the drinker's face uncontrollably when air enters the toe; seasoned drinkers always point the toe towards their body until the glass is sufficiently drained.[ citation needed ]


Traditional German Pilstulpen Radler Pils Unterschied 01 (RaBoe).jpg
Traditional German Pilstulpen

The Pilstulpe ("Pilsner Tulip") or Biertulpe ("Beer tulip") is the traditional glass used for German pilsner beers. Sizes are typically around 300 millilitres (11 imp fl oz; 10 US fl oz), but can be as large as 500 millilitres (18 imp fl oz; 17 US fl oz). When used in restaurant settings, a small piece of absorbent paper is placed around the base to absorb any drips from spilling or condensation.

Belgian and Dutch styles

Stronger or bottled beers are frequently served in specially-made, elaborately-branded glassware. In addition to the profusion of glasses provided by brewers, some Belgian beer cafés serve beer in their own "house" glassware.[ importance? ]

Flute glass

A vessel similar to a champagne flute is the preferred serving vessel for Belgian lambics and fruit beers. The narrow shape helps maintain carbonation, while providing a strong aromatic front. Flute glasses display the lively carbonation, sparkling color, and soft lacing of this distinct style.

Goblet or Chalice

Chalices and goblets are large, stemmed, bowl-shaped glasses adequate for serving heavy Belgian ales, German bocks, and other big sipping beers. The distinction between goblet and chalice is typically in the glass thickness. Goblets tend to be thick, while the chalice is thin walled. Some chalices are even etched on the bottom to nucleate a stream of bubbles for maintaining a nice head.

Tulip glass

A tulip glass has a shape similar to a brandy snifter. The body is bulbous, like a snifter, but the top flares out to form a lip which helps head retention. It is recommended for serving Scottish ales, American double/imperial IPAs, barley wines, Belgian ales and other aromatic beers. Some pint glasses that taper outwards towards the top are also called tulip glasses, despite having noticeably less curvature.

British and Irish styles


A tankard is a form of drinkware consisting of a large, roughly cylindrical, drinking cup with a single handle. Tankards are usually made of silver, pewter, or glass, but can be made of other materials, for example wood, ceramic or leather. [14] A tankard may have a hinged lid, and tankards featuring glass bottoms are also fairly common. Tankards are shaped and used similarly to beer steins. Metal tankards were popular in 18th and early 19th century Britain and Ireland, but were largely superseded by glass vessels. They are now seen as collector's items, or may be engraved and presented as a gift. Wooden and leather tankards were popular before the 17th century, but being made of organic materials have rarely survived intact to the present day.

Yard of ale

A yard of ale YardOfAle.jpg
A yard of ale

A yard of ale or yard glass is a very tall glass used for drinking around 2.5 imperial pints (1,400 ml) of beer, depending upon the diameter. The glass is approximately 1 yard (90 cm) long, shaped with a bulb at the bottom, and a widening shaft which constitutes most of the height. [15]

The glass most likely originated in 17th-century England where the glass was known also as a "Long Glass", a "Cambridge Yard (Glass)" and an "Ell Glass". It is associated by legend with stagecoach drivers, though was mainly used for drinking feats and special toasts. [16] [17] (Compare with the Pauwel Kwak glass).

Drinking a yard glass full of beer is a traditional pub game. The fastest drinking of a yard of ale in the Guinness Book of Records is 5 seconds. [18]


125 mlGalopin o Bock (France), Benjamin (Belgium), Zurito (Basque), Birrino (Italy)
200 mlFlûte o Hollandais (Belgium), Fluitje (Netherlands), Galopin (Switzerland, french), Herrgöttli (Switzerland, german), Caña (Spain), Stange (Cologne, but only for Kölsch), Birra Piccola (Italy)
250 mlDemi o Bock (France), Chope o Pintje (Belgium), Botellín (Spain), Vaasje (Netherlands), Snitt (Norway)
284 mlMiddy, Ten, Half (UK, Ireland), Glass (Ireland) 10 Imp fl oz
285 mlMiddy, Pot, Handle, Half (Australia),
300 mlSeidl/Seitel/Seiterl (Belgium), Becher, Stange, Rugeli (Switzerland, german, depending on glassware),
330 mlUn 33/Een 33er (Belgium), Gourde/Klepke (Belgium), Canette (Switzerland, french), Mini (Luxembourg), liten öl (Sweden), liten øl (Norway), třetinka (Czech), Tercio/Mediana (Spain)
400 mlBirra Media (Italy), stor öl (Sweden)
420 mlPusė kvortos (Lithuania)
425 mlSchooner (Australia) 15 Imp fl oz
473 mlPint (United States) 16 US fl oz
500 mlDistingué, Baron, Mini-chevalier, Chope, Pinte o Sérieux (France), Demi (Belgium), Seidel or Seidla (German), Chope o Canette (Switzerland, french), Grosses (Switzerland, german), Pinta (Spain), halvliter (Norwegian), půllitr (Czech), Krügel/Krügerl (Austria), Halbe (Southern Germany, Austria)
568 mlChopine (Quebec), Pint (UK & Ireland), Pinta (Lithuania & Latvia) 20 Imp fl oz
570 mlPint (Australia) 20.1 Imp fl oz
775/950 ml Beer stein (English), Humpen (German), Holba (Czech)
1000 mlChevalier, Parfait, Double Pinte (France), Pinte (Quebec), Corbeau, Lunette, Litron (Belgium), Maß (Germany), Masse o Litron (Switzerland, french), Mass (Switzerland, german), Birra grande (Italy), tuplák (Czech), Formidable (France)
1138 mlQuart (UK & Ireland) 40 Imp fl oz
1140 mlJug (Australia)
2000 mlStiefel/Liesl (Austria)

Australian measures

Prior to metrication in Australia, one could buy beer in glasses of size 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 15 or 20 imperial fluid ounces. Each sized glass had a different name in each Australian state. These were replaced by glasses of size 115, 140, 170, 200, 285, 425 and 570 ml. Progressively, the differences are decreasing. In the 21st century, most pubs no longer have a glass smaller than 200 ml (7 imp fl oz); typically available are 200ml, 285ml and 425ml, and increasingly many pubs also have pints 570 millilitres (20.1 imp fl oz) available.

Names of beer glasses in various Australian cities [n 1] [n 2] [n 3]
Capacity [n 4] Sydney Canberra Darwin Brisbane Adelaide Hobart Melbourne Perth
115 ml (4 fl oz)-small beerfoursieshetland
140 ml (5 fl oz)ponyponyponyhorse/ponypony
170 ml (6 fl oz)butcher [n 5] six (ounce)bobbie/six
200 ml (7 fl oz)sevensevenbeerbutcherseven (ounce)glassglass
285 ml (10 fl oz)middymiddy / half pinthandlepot [n 6] schooner [n 7] ten (ounce)potmiddy / half pint
350 ml (12 fl oz)schmiddy [n 8]
425 ml (15 fl oz)schoonerschoonerschoonerschoonerpint [n 7] fifteen / schoonerschoonerschooner [n 9]
570 ml (20 fl oz)pintpintpintpintimperial pint [n 7] pintpintpint
  1. Entries in bold are common.
  2. Entries in italics are old-fashioned or rare.
  3. Entries marked with a dash are not applicable.
  4. The "fl oz" referred to here is the imperial fluid ounce .
  5. Prior to metrification, the butcher was 6 fl oz.
  6. "Pot" is also known as Pot glass
  7. 1 2 3 Confusingly for visitors, South Australians use the same names for different volumes than in the other States.
  8. A modern glass size, mainly used with European beers. While the glass may be 350ml, a 330ml or 300ml fill line is common.
    With the increasing popularity of European beers, glasses of size 250ml and 500ml are also becoming more prevalent, but as yet don't seem to have acquired "names".
  9. Traditionally, 425 ml is a size not found in Western Australia.

See also

Related Research Articles

Pint Unit of volume in the imperial and US systems

The pint is a unit of volume or capacity in both the imperial and United States customary measurement systems. In both of those systems it is traditionally one eighth of a gallon. The British imperial pint is about 20% larger than the American pint because the two systems are defined differently. Almost all other countries have standardized on the metric system, so the size of what may be called a pint, from the French la pinte, varies depending on local custom.

"Half and half" is the name of various beverages and foods made of an equal-parts mixture of two substances, including dairy products, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks.

Wine bottle Bottle used for holding wine

A wine bottle is a bottle, generally a glass bottle, that is used for holding wine. Some wines are fermented in the bottle while others are bottled only after fermentation. Recently the bottle has become a standard unit of volume to describe sales in the wine industry, measuring 750 millilitres. Wine bottles are produced, however, in a variety of volumes and shapes.

Cocktail glass Stemmed glass with an inverted cone bowl

A cocktail glass is a stemmed glass with an inverted cone bowl, mainly used to serve straight-up cocktails. The term cocktail glass is often used interchangeably with martini glass, despite their differing slightly. Today, the glass is used to serve a variety of cocktails, such as the martini and its variations, Manhattan, Brandy Alexander, pisco sour, Negroni, cosmopolitan, gimlet, and the grasshopper.

Beer bottle Bottle designed as a container for beer

A beer bottle is a bottle designed as a container for beer. Such designs vary greatly in size and shape, but the glass commonly is brown or green to reduce spoilage from light, especially ultraviolet.

Beer stein

Beer stein, or simply stein, is either traditional beer mugs made out of stoneware, or specifically ornamental beer mugs that are usually sold as souvenirs or collectibles. An 1894 article on beer mugs in the American Vogue magazine describes various types of steins adding ″And it is to this [i.e. German] nation that we owe Wagner's music and the apotheosis of the beer mug."


Maß or Mass is the German word describing the amount of beer in a regulation mug, in modern times exactly 1 litre (33.8 US fl oz). The same word is also often used as an abbreviation for Maßkrug, the handled drinking vessel containing it, ubiquitous in Bavarian beer gardens and beer halls, and a staple of Oktoberfest. This vessel is often referred to as a beer mug by English speakers, and can be correctly called a beer stein only if it's made of stoneware and capable of holding a regulation Maß of beer.

Beer in England Beer in England

Beer has been brewed in England for hundreds of years. As a beer brewing country, it is known for top fermented cask beer which finishes maturing in the cellar of the pub rather than at the brewery and is served with only natural carbonation.

Beer in Germany Major part of German culture

Beer is a major part of German culture. German beer is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, which permits only water, hops, and malt as ingredients; and stipulates that beers not exclusively using barley-malt, such as wheat beer, must be top-fermented.

Beer in Australia Overview of the beer culture in Australia

Beer arrived in Australia at the beginning of British colonisation. In 2004 Australia was ranked fourth internationally in per capita beer consumption, at around 110 litres per year; although, the nation ranked considerably lower in a World Health Organization report of alcohol consumption per capita of 12.2 litres. Lager is by far the most popular type of beer consumed in Australia.

Grupo Modelo Large Mexican brewery

Grupo Modelo is a large brewery in Mexico that exports beer to most countries of the world. Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico. Grupo Modelo also brews brands that are intended solely for the domestic Mexican market and has exclusive rights in Mexico for the import and distribution of beer produced by Anheuser-Busch. Until the 1960s, Grupo Modelo used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising.

Pint glass Glassware made to hold a pint of beer or cider

A pint glass is a form of drinkware made to hold either a British imperial pint of 20 imperial fluid ounces (568 ml) or an American pint of 16 US fluid ounces (473 ml). Other definitions also exist, see below. These glasses are typically used to serve beer, and also often for cider.

Cup (unit) Cooking measure of volume

The cup is a cooking measure of volume, commonly associated with cooking and serving sizes. It is traditionally equal to one-half US pint (236.6 ml). Because actual drinking cups may differ greatly from the size of this unit, standard measuring cups may be used, with a metric cup being 250 millilitres.

Gill (unit) Unit of volume with different values

The gill or teacup is a unit of measurement for volume equal to a quarter of a pint. It is no longer in common use, except in regard to the volume of alcoholic spirits measures.

Tankard Drinking vessel

A tankard is a form of drinkware consisting of a large, roughly cylindrical, drinking cup with a single handle. Tankards are usually made of silver or pewter, but can be made of other materials, for example wood, ceramic or leather. A tankard may have a hinged lid, and tankards featuring glass bottoms are also fairly common. Tankards are shaped and used similarly to beer steins.

A pony glass may mean one of two types of small glassware:

Champagne glass Stemware specialized for sparkling wine

A Champagne glass is stemware designed for champagne and other sparkling wines. The two most common forms are the flute and coupe, both stemmed; holding the glass by the stem prevents warming the drink. Champagne can also be drunk from a normal wine glass, which allows better appreciation of the flavor, at the expense of accentuating the bubbles less.

Schooner (glass)

A schooner is a type of glass for serving drinks. In the United Kingdom it is the name for a large sherry glass. In Australia it is the name for a particular glass size, used for any type of beer.

Fill line

A fill line is a marking on drinkware indicating the volume of liquid held by the glass. Many countries mandate fill lines on glasses used commercially as a consumer protection measure.


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  12. "Weltrekord im Dauer-Maßkrugstemmen". Bayerischer Rundfunk (in German). 11 March 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019 via ARD.
  13. Thrillist (29 September 2014). "A Brief History of German Beer Boots, and Where You Can Find Them". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
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  15. Dan Rabin; Carl Forget (1998). The Dictionary of Beer and Brewing. Taylor & Francis. p. 283. ISBN   978-1-57958-078-0.
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