The case for #properglassware for any and every style of beer has been well documented. Surely all these great beers need to be served in equally great glasses. Every style demands a specific shape. It may be worth considering that this is mostly bullshit.
When you actually look at the specs for each individual glass, there’s a pattern that develops. The snifter is prized for its ability to aid in head retention and hold all of those nuanced aromas in the glass. Oddly enough, the tulip, Weizen, and teku are all touted for the exact same reason. Even the Pilsner glass gets high marks for enhancing the aroma and for retaining the head of the beer, along with highlighting the beautiful color and clarity of the beer. Clarity? Really? Are we trying to drink this stuff or take a fucking picture of it?
The major reason these beers have great head retention is not the glass—it’s the ingredients. The head on all malt derived, generously hopped beer simply lasts longer than the head on some fizzy yellow piss. The aroma is outstanding because of all the wonderful new hop varieties that have come into use over the last decade. We know there’s some “scientific research” out there in support of these special cups, but we’re not scientists, and we’re guessing you’re not either. The truth is, you can’t really taste the difference. These beers would still look, smell, and taste amazing in a standard shaker pint. You can’t pour a Miller Lite into a teku and get Heady Topper. You can’t pour Heady Topper into a sippy cup and get Miller Lite. If you believe otherwise, you’re lying to yourself.
We get it. Fancy glasses are fun. If you like to drink your beer out of a tulip (this writer’s go-to), do it. Out of a shaker pint? Absolutely. A red plastic cup? Go right ahead. Just don’t trick yourself into thinking there will be some magical change in the beer’s flavor. Glassware is about preference. The beer is going to taste the great regardless. The perfect beer glass is the one with the beer in it.