The qualities of a good beer are best perceived in a glass: the color, clarity (or opacity), carbonation, head formation and retention, aromatic qualities, and flavor. Don't dribble beer down the side of the glass when pouring. Instead, pour beer into a glass in a deliberate fashion to form a good head and to release some carbonation. Be sure to use a glass large enough for the liquid plus the foam. A bold pour will impress your friends, and will also help lessen the fizziness that can lead to intestinal discomfort.
Style-specific glassware is meant to enhance the enjoyment of the beer. To this end, there are certain beers that demand their own traditional glassware. Here is a brief list:
Stout, Porter: pint glass
Pilsner: tall, fluted glass with a narrow base
English Ales: dimpled, pint mug with handle
Altbier / Kolschbier: their own glass that resembles a Tom Collins glass
Trappist /Lambic /Gueuze: Stemmed, tulip glass that resembles a wineglass
Barleywine: brandy snifters
Scotch Ale: a stemmed "thistle" glass with a bulbous bowl and slightly fluted sides
For good presentation, be sure to use glassware that has been properly cleaned with detergent, preferably sanitized, and well rinsed. Food particles, fats or oils, lip balm or lipstick can all have detrimental effects on a poured beer.
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