The Only Glass You Need for Your Pumpkin Beer This Fall

Spoiler alert: It's not a pint glass.

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September 14, 2021
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I knew trying glasses in pursuit of the perfect vessel for pumpkin beer could force me to stray from my beloved beer-drinking glass. You see, we have sort of a long history together, dating back to what I like to call “pre-pandemic days,” when going to a beer fest and mingling with hundreds of strangers felt natural. The souvenir festival glass was perfect for tastings that night and has served me well just about every weekend since.

Creature of habit? Perhaps. But willing to branch out for the sake of journalism? Yes.

There are six key components to consider when choosing a glass, according to CraftBeer.com: the handle, shape, bowl, bulb, rim and size. Now, when you’re at a restaurant, you don’t always get to choose what kind of glass you receive, and I find it very easy to critique a glass I dislike: It’s too heavy. This mug is so thick! Who drinks beer out of a glass this narrow?! But pinpointing what you actually enjoy about a glass can be trickier albiet important when it comes to buying the perfect match for enjoying your favorite fall sip at home.

Pumpkin beers are available seasonally and fall (pun intended) under the “specialty beers” category. Per CraftBeer.com, those are best served in pilsner flutes, vases, nonics, snifters or tulips. Ah, the tulip glass — my go-to glass I was talking about earlier.

“It’s short stem facilitates swirling,” according to KegWorks, and taking in the warm and often spicy notes of a pumpkin beer before it even hits your lips is half the fun. A tulip glass features a round “bowl,” unlike your typical pint glass, wide at the top and narrower at the base. And a tulip’s slightly flared rim helps retain the beer’s head (also important to preserving its aroma).

While there are plenty of great sources (I love this JustBeer table!) to help you find the best glassware for your beer style, there are no hard-and-fast rules — so don’t worry that you’re going to make the wrong decision. Just know that if you pick a tulip for your next pumpkin beer, you won’t go awry.

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