Originally used for shaking cocktails, the shaker pint became popular for serving drinks — particularly beer — due to its low cost and ability to be stacked for easy storage. This is the ubiquitous bar beer glass, and it’s a fair guess that you’ve drank suds out of this glass all your life. But it’s time you changed that. As Dr. Michael Lewis, a former professor of brewing science at UC Davis, explains in his paper, “Better Beer Presentation: Going the Last Mile to the Majestic Pint”, “The [shaker pint] is almost perversely designed to dissipate those very items the glass should enhance — that is: to help stabilize foam and to help entrap beer aroma.” The head and aroma need to stay intact because they help the drinker fully experience the beer’s flavor. It’s the same basic principle behind sniffing wine before tasting it.
An even simpler argument is this: a quality beer deserves a quality glass. No one in their right mind would serve dry-aged steak on a paper plate, park a classic Ferrari on the street, or buy an expensive bottle of wine and drink it from a water glass. Properly serving beer — in any of a wide array of glasses shaped with a specific beer type or function in mind — doesn’t make you a snob. As Zach Mack, co-owner of of ABC Beer Co. in NYC, told us, glassware can be an integral part of the experience. Not that you have to turn up your nose at every old standard pint. “At the end of the day, you probably won’t own every type of beer glass. Figure out what works for you”, Mack said. In that light, here are the specialized glasses you should know, along with the beers that you should be sipping from them.