Best Beer Glasses of 2021
With curves to die for and an elegance to match, the Rastal Teku captured us from the start. Some may shy away from stemmed beer glasses thinking they're a little too dainty, but we implore you to set aside your preconceived notions and give this gorgeous glass a spin. The thin rim makes each sip pleasant and allows the focus to be on the beverage, not a thick wall of glass. The Rastal Teku no doubt gives the highest amount of satisfaction for each beer tested, not only making it the overall tastiest to drink from but all very versatile. We enjoyed pilsners, stouts, and IPAs from this glass that marries a happy drinking experience with pretty much any type of beer you pour into it. If you're into interesting and flavorful brews, this is the glass to serve them in. We don't shy away from serving our guests a hard cider in this glass, either.
This is a refined glass that lands decidedly on the craft beer side of the market. It's not the best beer glass to accompany yard work. Hesitation to pour someone their fifth beer in this glass is warranted, too. Though the petite design and thin walls do add elegance, it also makes the glass prone to breakage; an especially worrisome ordeal when trying to get a dish sponge into the dimple in the bottom of the glass's reservoir. All in all, though, this glass shows its appreciation for the beer and the beer drinker better than any other we tested.
This style of glass has proven itself a survivor. For those who appreciate the classic conical shape and vast versatility of the shaker glass, but would still like an upgrade from those random glasses "collected" at brunches, the Kitchen Lux Pint is the choice for you. The thicker wall of this glass lends itself to daily use, from water to beer to milk. Nobody wants to drink a Bloody Mary out of stemmed drinkware or an IPA glass, and this glass's versatility beyond beer consumption is one of its strengths. There is nothing wrong with being practical, and the durability and ease of cleaning with these glasses make them a great, stackable addition to your collection.
Now, if you aren't the practical type, or if you have a more discerning palate, this may not be your top choice. The lack of beer-centric design leaves something to be desired. Overall, the build quality is excellent, and if you are looking to buy several glasses for a low price, we wouldn't hesitate to snatch up this multi-pack.
Coming from a company started in 1818, the Libbey Craft Brews Assorted Glasses Set is a quality purchase. Comprised of 6 different beer glass styles from around the world, there is something for everyone and nearly every style in this set. All of the glasses feel well-made and even. They don't wobble on the table. If you want to dabble with a variety of craft beers with glasses without spending a lot of money on individual sets, this is a great loophole.
Though it is fun to have access to a wide variety of glasses, if your taste for brews is more concentrated, you might want to invest in a particular set. Some testers felt like they would really only use a few of the glasses in the set with any regularity, leaving the others to take up cabinet space. And though this specific set does not match the seller's image, all the styles advertised are there, well made and ready to be enjoyed. If you want variety in your beer glass selection, this is the multi-pack we recommend first.
The robust feel of the Chefcaptain Dimple Stein harkens to a time and place where beer was swiftly consumed, then the glass slammed down to the table with authority. It takes one tough mug to pull off such a feat over and over again. Though all of the glasses we tested survived a sideways topple, this was the only glass that made us feel comfortable with enthusiastic cheers. It survives thanks to its bulky construction. The dimples in the glass help refract light, better illuminating beer and showing off its tempting color. Not only an aesthetic choice, but the dimples in the mug are extremely handy for a nice grip while hand washing. With four built-to-last beer mugs in this fairly-priced set, there's a lot of value here, too.
So it can take a tumble, looks awesome, and is easy to wash. Does that make it an excellent beer glass? That depends on who you are. If you are dead set on tasting more delicate notes in specialty brews, this isn't the model for you. This design is for the chug, not the smug. For those who prefer a beer hall to a craft bottle shop, the Chefcaptain Dimple Stein will fit right into your kitchen cabinet.
If you've ever been out for a drink across the pond, chances are you've come across this style of drinkware at the pub. American bars and breweries tend to favor the shaker glass over the pub pint, which makes this model feel unique and well-traveled. The bulge was meant to keep stacked glasses from sticking together and to save the lip from chipping/nicking (hence the nickname "nonic"). The bulge also allows for more beer surface area to interact with the air when tipped, which seems to open the beer back up with each tilt. This adds added sensory experience, mostly in the nose. Altogether, the Luxu 20-oz Pint is a great value for those wanting to get away from the mundane shaker.
Though some may love the larger size of this glass compared to American pints, it could be intimidating to others, especially those particular about how a typical 12-ounce can looks in this glass. One other thing to mention is a slight wobble that came with one of the glasses. The bottom of these glasses are non-recessed, so if the bottom isn't perfectly level, wobbles ensue, as we witnessed. If that isn't a deal-breaker, then we would consider these a great alternative to your standard American pint.
Some like it hoppy, and for those who do, there's the Spiegelau IPA Craft Beer Set. These glasses are just as beautiful as they are complementary to the style of beer they are built to deliver. Their shape channels the aromatics IPAs are known for straight to your nose, making these glasses a treat for your senses. Constructed from durable and high-quality glass, these glasses hit the mark and more. In fact, we noticed a palpable advantage to these over its competitors. The head was slow-building yet very present, and the balance between the heavier bottom pairs well with a full glass.
If you aren't into IPAs, we recommend passing on this set. Though you may be able to enjoy other styles from these glasses, the facts that they don't stack well in your cupboard and are quite hard to clean with a conventional sponge make other models a better choice. But for those who take their IPAs seriously, this is a great addition to your arsenal.
Having a variety of craft beer glasses at your disposal can definitely be a plus. The Luminarc Assorted Craft Glasses Set has something for several different beer styles. All glasses survived a topple and managed to fit in the dishwasher. Most notably of the bunch, we were impressed with the stout glass, which was a well-built, no-nonsense delight to hold.
Much like with the other variety packs, the attention to detail might have been spread a little thin. Multiple glasses in the set we bought wobbled back and forth when set on an even surface, and some do not match the exact style on the box. We also wish this variety pack included a glass with a volume of less than 16 oz for smaller pours. Though all glasses maybe not be identical to expectations, we did enjoy drinking from them and could see the Luminarc Assorted Craft Glasses being a thoughtful gift for the craft brew explorer.
Some say the true test of a good brewery is its ability to craft a fine pilsner. Such a clean and refined style deserves a beautifully thought-out glass to match. Enter the Brimley Pilsner Glasses Set. This attractive set of four with spiraling nucleation tickles the senses in a way others can leave flat. Easy to grip and surprisingly strong for their tall stature, these glasses are even rated strong/safe enough to put in your freezer, if you're into that.
Though the Brimley Pilsner Glass Set may reign king in the pilsner and light beer game, it is still a rather style-specific glass. It just felt wrong pouring a stout into this glass to our testers with a beer industry education. We also found some blemishes in the glass walls, which is especially a bummer for drinkware meant to display light-colored beer. The glasses do not stack and can be hard to clean manually. But if light beers (especially pilsners) are your jam, this is a pretty nice set.
What do you get when you combine the inviting and familiar shape of a beer can and a classic pint glass? The Libbey Pint 2-Pack. While this seems like a mere novel idea, these beer glasses do bring something new and enjoyable to the table. The glass looks like it would be more awkward to drink out of than it is. In fact, we found its thin lip more enjoyable than drinking out of the shakers we tested. The beveled lipping on the glass and smaller opening make sipping quite easy and dribble-free. Also more, the craftsmanship is quite good on this quirky pair.
There are a couple of downsides to these glasses, at least when comparing to our other subjects. The small mouth opening can make it hard to give them a good cleaning, especially for larger hands. Also, although the Libbey Pint 2-Pack feels well balanced, the thin nature of the glass may prove more prone to breakage over time. In all, though not our favorite glasses, we were pleasantly surprised by their charm and easy drinkability for most styles. This cup stands out for being different, which is refreshing on its own.
Why You Should Trust Us
Ryan Anhorn is a long-time lover and thrill seeker of all things boozy and bubbly. For over 6 years he has worked for multiple breweries, including likes of Bauhaus Brew Labs in Minnesota and Firestone Walker in California. Ryan has done everything from conducting beer tastings to sales and creative marketing in the microbrewing industry. While living in the cold of Minnesota, his appreciation for the warming and harmonious nature of stouts and porters grew with every winter. Now living in Los Angeles, the wide availability of Asian and Mexican lagers is becoming his latest point of exploration. William Schoen and Rachael Pelzer also contributed to our testing period and beer glass evaluations. William, a former server and bartender at a beer-centric Italian restaurant, and Rachel, a former bartender at multiple London pubs, made great testers with an aptitude to communicate the experience of each glass.
To find the best beer glasses for testing, we scoured the internet for top-selling and top-rated products, but also for anything else that might have been overlooked by the consumer population. We took our almost 30 top choices and boiled them down to the most promising options. We then put them through testing to find out the strengths, weaknesses, and surprises in performance. After acquiring all the glasses, we purchased a variety of beer styles to best match the potential of each of our subjects. Bought in multiples, we were able to test the same beer in different glasses to make sure our analysis was consistent on what really made each glass unique. We also washed each glass multiple times by hand and in a dishwasher and performed a topple test by knocking each over onto a hard surface. All glasses were used repeatedly, and notes were taken through the process.
Analysis and Test Results
When considering beer glasses, we want two main areas of performance to be accomplished. We want the vessel to enhance the presentation of our beverage of choice, and we want it to be practical in our home. Therefore, we rated each glass on its performance in four key metrics discussed below; Beer Presentation, Versatility, Ease of Cleaning, and Durability.
This metric is all about satisfaction. Beer should be satisfying, and its delivery device should live up to this purpose, too. More directly, this metric speaks to how the shape of the glasses tickles your nose and tongue. Beer glasses come in all different shapes with different attributes to open up the floral nature of the hops, a huge component in the overall experience. These shapes, including the diameter and thickness of the glass's mouth, also affect the way the beer travels across your tongue, hitting different taste receptors and supplying varying amounts of oxygen. All in all, this metric assesses how well the vessel lives up to its bubbly contents.
No matter what style of beer we drank from the Rastal Teku stemmed glass, it was just better that time around. Aesthetically and physically, this glass elevates the beer poured into it. First, it just looks great and calls attention to the fact that the pourer cares about the beverage inside of it. It's like dressing up a beer to look its best. When it comes to feeling, it feels sophisticated and well-balanced in hand, and its thin rim feels refined and not dissimilar to a high-end wine glass. The narrow mouth encourages the beer to be sipped, rather than gulped. This gives plenty of time for the beer to rush against the sides of your tongue, which are often passed while drinking quickly. This aids in the sensations of sweetness and acidity. The billowed sides of the glass repeatedly open and add exposed surface area for the aromatics to rush to your nose. This is somewhat the idea behind the Spiegelau IPA Set, too. Grander body narrowed to the nose to drink slowly, yet long enough to open up the beer to be taken in by your nose. What a delight.
The shape and style of beer glasses tickle more than the senses tied to our nose and mouth. Take, for instance, the Brimley Pilsner Glasses Set. The ingenious nucleation swirl on the bottom channels the bubbles coming up through to the end of your beer. Not only for the sake of retaining head up top, but the bubbles make for a mesmerizing display of travel through the glass's sleek design, beckoning for more attention. If you're pouring hazy IPAs or dark stouts into this glass, though, it loses its visual appeal because you can't see the continuous bubbling effect in more opaque liquids. We also liked the visuals created by the dimples in the Chefcaptain Stein, though its design doesn't contribute greatly to the nose and flavor of a brew.
A glass's fun-factor also plays into beer presentation. The can-shaped Libbey Pint 2-Pack is just the thing to tickle the senses of our testers. A shape most of us have not drunk out of before in glass form, we appreciated the sense of youthfulness found while drinking from it.
Sometimes you want to make your next purchase based on more than a single reason. Fans of beer often enjoy more than one variety, so pigeon-holing into a design made for only one type of glass would not be your quiver-of-one solution. And many of us might find it hard to justify the cabinet space required to house specific glasses for every type of beer we enjoy. The more styles of beer a glass is suited for, the more versatile it is. This metric focuses on the practical side of beer glasses.
Our test methods involved pouring and tasting a wide variety of brew styles in each vessel. To push versatility a step further, we also filled each with non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages like water, milk, and in one instance, tea.
No-frills shaker pints like the Kitchen Lux Pint are staples for do-it-all drinkware. These jack-of-all-trade glasses handle pretty much any style of beer, as proven by their ubiquitous appearance in bars and breweries. We had no problem serving glasses of milk, water, juice, and Bloody Marys in this option, too. If you're looking for a utility player in your drinkware, these shaker pints do the trick and keep costs down, too.
As for the Chefcaptain Dimple Stein, it is the only model we tested that is really suited to handling hot beverages. Tea, hot mulled wine, hot cider, hot chocolate—we happily drank all these from this mug, made possible by the large handle and thick glass walls.
The multi-packs, by their very nature, provide versatility in numbers. The sets we tested include a specific glass for the major beer styles purchased at many local liquor stores and beer coolers. The collective versatility of this set is nice, although they take up significant cabinet space and are not stackable.
In contrast, the Spiegelau IPA Set is specifically intended for IPAs. While this limits its versatility, hop-fiends will likely gravitate toward this set and find it to fulfill their needs. If you have a go-to beer style, you might be very happy ignoring the versatility of your beer glass.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning anything is better when it's quick and easy, glassware included. It's typically recommended to handwash these products to prevent clouding of the glass over time. From a practical standpoint, though, we realize many of us will simply toss these glasses into the dishwasher for a cleaning cycle. Be sure to use the top rack when using a dishwasher. To assess both methods, we got out our sponges and brushes to handwash each model, while also loading up our dishwasher with them.
The shape of the glass has a large influence on its ease of handwashing, and the Dimple Stein proves this point. The large diameter at the mouth allows us to easily get our hands and a sponge inside the glass, all the way to the bottom. Its dimpled walls are also easy to grip, making us confident we wouldn't drop it out of our hands in the sink. Coming in second are the shaker glasses with simple, conical shapes, though we couldn't thoroughly scrub the bottom of the glass without a brush.
Some of the taller options might not fit in the top rack of a dishwasher. The 23 oz wheat beer glass in the Libbey Craft Brews multi-pack is one that may not fit in all dishwashers, and we couldn't get a sponge into the depths of this glass, either. The thin walls of the Rastal Teku also make it questionable to toss into the dishwasher. The dimple at the bottom of the bowl, directly above the stem, is especially difficult to clean out if you don't rinse it properly after use. We also found the narrow bottom of the Spiegelau IPA Set to be quite difficult to thoroughly clean. When handwashing, we usually resorted to swirling soapy water around the bottom of the glass, since we couldn't access it by hand or sponge.
Glassware is perceived as fragile, but it also gets frequent use and occasional accidents. Of course, we can't expect a glass to survive a table-height fall, but a glass that can weather a few topples will bring greater value to the buyer. Quality control can also affect durability. Wobbly glasses are more prone to tipping over than sturdy ones, and uneven bottoms of cups bring on the wobble and make us question the level of QC going on. To test durability, we first investigated the glass thickness and structural design. Then, we repeatedly washed each glass but also toppled each glass off its base onto a wooden surface to simulate a common accident. To the credit of each product we tested, none failed our topple test or even broke through normal use over several weeks of testing. Still, although none broke in our testing period, our testers have a combined two decades-worth of experience in bars and taprooms and have seen thin-walled glasses break much more frequently than thicker ones.
The easiest to clean glasses also appear the most durable. The thick glass of the Dimple Stein protects it through many washes and hearty cheers-clinking between friends. The reasonably thick Kitchen Lux Pints, combined with a stable design and strong shape, also struck us as resistant to breaking. On top of their utility, the durability of shaker pints are a big reason for their prevalence in bars and restaurants.
The models with thin glass walls made us question their ability to survive long-term without extra care. The Rastal Teku—being thin, stemmed, and top-heavy—begs to be handled with care. The same goes for the stemmed glasses in the variety packs.
Unfortunately, some glasses arrived wobbly, unable to sit level on their bases. The worst-case was the Luminarc Assorted Craft Glasses Set. The reason we do not recommend this pack is due to its wobble-factor. Three of the six glasses had imperfections on the base of the glass, causing them to sit unsteadily on flat surfaces. This makes this model the least durable of all we tested, due to its lack of stability. Better quality control would help us get behind this product. One of the Luxu English pub pints also came with a wobble.
If you care about the ales you drink, you likely care about the delivery vessel as well. Our experience in the beer industry and weeks of testing result in a list of great recommendations for your next tasting or social session. Go ahead, grab some beer glasses to elevate your drinking experience. Have fun, and please drink responsibly.
— Ryan Anhorn