To truly appreciate different beers, you need different kinds of glasses. Check out this guideline before you hoist your next mug.
Step 1: Start with a clean glass Always start with a hand-washed, air-dried glass. And never put it in the freezer: Experts say chilling the glass compromises the beer's flavor.
TIP: A study found that a thin glass actually keeps beer colder than a thick one.
Step 2: Grab a beer mug Grab a beer stein, a mug, or a German mug made of glass called a seidel, when you're pouring American and English ales, stouts, or bock beer. Mugs and steins are good for gatherings that involve lots of toasting, thanks to the handle.
Step 3: Have a pint Have pale ales, bitter, porters, and stouts in a pint glass. It comes in two sizes: In the U.S., the 16 oz. tumbler, and in Britain, the 20 oz. nonic. Just drink them fast if you don't like you beer warm; the wide mouth can't keep them cool for long.
Step 4: Use a pilsner glass Use the slender, tapered glass known as a pilsner when you drink its namesake. It also complements lagers.
Step 5: Belt down Belgian beer Drink Belgian beer from a tulip-shaped glass. It helps maintain the head, which in turn helps the drinker appreciate the beer's esters, or fragrant compounds.
TIP: A brandy snifter works, too. A brandy snifter works, too.
Step 6: Get "weiz" Drink wheat beer, also known as Weizenbier, in the glass named for it ¬– the Bavarian weizen glass. It's shaped like an hourglass to accommodate a big head of foam.
Step 7: Try a wine glass Try a large wine glass that leaves enough room for a decent head to form. You may feel silly, but the shape enhances the taste of beer the same way it elevates the flavor of wine – by bringing out the aroma.
FACT: Germans began using steins, stoneware or metal beer mugs with lids, in the 15th century after the Black Death as a sanitary precaution.