I am sure you are aware of the different factors that make IPA beer tasteful, from the brewing to the maturing processes. However, what if I told you there is another more subtle factor that can elevate your beer’s flavor and aroma?
You might be wondering why that is. Well, allow me to let you in on a secret- It’s the glass you use. For this reason, some manufacturers, such as Spiegelau, have created one of the best beer glasses for IPA.
The best glasses to get the most enjoyment out of an IPA is the Spiegelau IPA craft beer glass or a tulip shaped glass. The worst glasses for an IPA are the pint glasses (shaker glass) or mugs that have no curves. We will discuss this in more detail.
Why does the glass matter?
I know stating that a piece of glassware will impact the taste and aroma of beer might make me seem like one of those pretentious wine connoisseurs who over-exaggerate things. But I need you to trust me on this one as there is some science and a bit of psychology involved.
Visual presentation plays a crucial role in how we perceive something. If you are impressed by how good the beer looks, you are more likely to enjoy it. Nonetheless, the shape of the glass also affects the way the aroma and flavors reach our pallet. For instance:-
Oval shaped glasses- Oval shaped glasses are perfect for creating a frothy head. This allows the aromas and flavors to develop naturally. It also helps prevent your hands from getting too cold when you are drinking a chilled beer, giving you a more enjoyable drinking experience. Beer glasses also need to be reasonably tall.
Tall shaped glasses– A long slender glass shape gives you the perfect pour. Your beer gets to cascade down the side of the glass with ease. Such tall glasses often have a narrow base and a wider rim, which allows a smooth foam head to develop. This is crucial since it keeps your beer carbonated for an extended duration.
Tulip shaped glass– This is yet another popular beer glass design. Such type of glasses often come with either smooth curves or hard angles. The design allows the aroma to be retained in the bowl of the glass. Such glasses are particularly great for hop beers due to their strong aromas.
However, different shapes of glass are ideal for different types of beers. So to be specific, let’s look at the ideal glassware shape for IPAs.
Which is the Best Beer Glass for IPA?
Now that you know the science behind some of the best beer glass shapes, let’s look at what applies to IPA. IPA beer has a strong citrusy taste, almost like that of a grapefruit. However, no fruits are actually used. Instead, that fruitful flavor and aroma come from hops.
Additionally, the craft beer also has a slightly bitter and earthy taste to it. Given the strong flavors and aromas present in IPA, it is only right that you have the right type of glass that will capture them all.
Smell is very important when you want to explore the flavor profile of craft beers. As such, the shape of the glass you choose should be able to capture and introduce the raw aroma of the beer to your nose. A bulbous glass that tapers inwards should do the job. As we had stated earlier, the foam also impacts the flavor.
Therefore, go for a glass that can create and maintain a good frothy head. This will not only keep your beer carbonated for longer but also elevate the beer’s aroma. Lastly, after the base, the glass curves outwards and then inwards at the rim. This is meant to amplify the aromatic of hops.
Overview of the Best Glasses for IPA
Best Overall: Spiegelau Craft IPA Glass
Spiegelau is a renowned brand, and over the years, it has come to set the standard for beer glassware. This product, in particular, has to be our favorite. The company specifically designed this glass for IPA- however, it can go in hand with any hops beer. A traditional pint glass simply doesn’t cut it, especially for such a beer.
That is why the team at Spiegelau designed this glass to enhance all the elements of a craft beer. In particular, it is made to bring out the aroma, mouthfeel, and taste of IPA. To achieve this, the glass design features several things.
First it is made to be aesthetically pleasing. While this is not a technical factor, it psychologically makes you expect the beer to taste good. Now onto the technical features. The glass is designed with ridges at the base, which help aerate your drink. Additionally, this keeps the beer carbonated for longer.
After the base, the glass curves outwards and then inwards at the rim. This is meant to amplify the aromatic of hops. Basically, this glass is specifically made to elevate IPA beer’s complex flavor profile, making it our number one pick.
Budget-Friendly: LUXU IPA Beer Glasses
The fundamental design aspect of the best IPA glass is a narrow base that curves outwards and then inwards as you reach the rim. This is what LUXU took into consideration when coming up with this glass. It looks quite similar to the Spiegelau; however, it does not have ridges at the base. Nonetheless, similar to Spiegelau, the manufacturer designed this glass specifically for IPA beers.
The glass comes with a stylish but simple design that is meant to elevate your beer tasting experience. It is inspired by a tulip design; though, it has a more slender and longer body, which allows a smooth foam head to develop as you pour your beer. Like most beer glasses on our list, this one also has a nice thick base at the bottom that prevents tipping.
While it is designed for IPA beer, the glass is very versatile as it can be used for water, juice, and other cocktails. Lastly, it is very affordable as a set of four will cost you around twenty dollars.
Most elegant design: Sempli Monti-IPA Clear Beer Glasses
If you want to go for a more luxurious feel, then the Sempli Monti-IPA glasses are your best bet. The glass comes with all the technical features that make a good craft beer glass but with a more stylish design. You can tell that each glass is carefully hand-blown and made from the highest quality material. If you want to turn your non-drinking friend into a beer lover, serve him or her a chilled IPA with this glass.
The glass is designed by Daniele Semeraro, who combines the elegant Italian design with Swedish simplicity and functionality.
The shape of the glass is what you want for a craft beer such as IPA. It comes with a ridged design that looks as if two glasses are mounted on top of each other. This is not just meant to make it look elegant; it helps to aerate the beer and give it a long-lasting smooth, frothy foam at the rim of the glass. Additionally, the beer is kept carbonated for an extended period allowing the aroma and flavors to be elevated a notch higher.
If you have some extra bucks to spend, we recommend you go for this glass.
Best for Simplicity: Spiegelau Premium Tulip Glasses
At first glance, you might think that this is a wine or whiskey tasting glass. However, it is one of the first designs from Spiegelau that was actually purposefully made for beer. Curves are not only meant for girls; a good beer glass has to have some sleek curves. This tulip glass is designed with that in mind. The sleek curves are meant to highlight the rich flavor profile of sour, bitter, and barrel-aged craft beer such as IPA.
Similar to the other glasses on this list, this glass has a smaller rim and bulges out at the center, and finally narrows down as you reach the base. You might have figured by now that this is meant to aerate the beer. However, this glass is shorter than the others on the list. Therefore, you might not experience a long-lasting form as that of the Spiegelau Craft IPA Glass.
Nonetheless, it is very functional and is enough to elevate your beer connoisseurship to the next level.
Most Durable: Aegir Tritan Unbreakable IPA Beer Glasses
Our last but definitely not least pick is the Aegir Tritan Glass. The name of this glass sums it all up. It is basically a beer glass specially designed for India Pale Ales and made from sturdy glass to make it shatter-resistant.
In terms of design, this glass looks very similar to the Spiegelau Craft IPA Glass, with the only visible difference being the lack of ridges at the base. However, Aegir has also invested more in its product’s durability, which makes it ideal for both household and commercial use. In terms of design, the glasses incorporate all the technical features of a good IPA glass, from the curved edges to the narrow base.
Worst Beer Glasses For IPA
So we have gone over the best glasses for an IPA. But the glasses you should avoid? Particularly pint glasses, also known as shaker glasses. These are pretty popular at bars because they are pretty durable, they are great for mixing drinks (hence the name shaker glass), and they are easy to stack. So bars love these glasses.
But for a great IPA experience, these are just not ideal. The aroma is pretty much released into space and really limits what your scent can pick up. A huge plus about IPAs is smelling the aroma that enhances the taste. This isn’t important for all beers, but for IPA it is pretty important.
If you go to a regular bar, pint glasses and mugs might be common. But if you go to a brewery, you will usually get a glass like one of the ones we recommended above.
If you want to enjoy a more refined taste when drinking IPA, a regular pint glass or drinking it straight from the bottle won’t cut it. Spare a few bucks and buy a good beer glass. If you have never given such glasses a chance, please do you we are sure you will notice the difference.
Lastly, we are confident that you will not regret buying any of the products that we have highlighted above since they are all specially made for beer.
The popularity of hard seltzers has risen dramatically in recent years, with an increasing number of consumers seeking a lighter, refreshing alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages. Bud Light...
Moonshine, a homemade distilled spirit, has a reputation for its strong flavor and robust alcohol content. Many people find the taste too harsh to enjoy on its own, which is why flavoring moonshine...