Historically, drinking vessels were made from wood, leather, stoneware, or whatever else may have been handy. The historical replica Fraoch Heather Ale uses a traditional stoneware glass, and many Franconian lagers never stopped (St. Georgenbrau Kellerbier, for example). The Belgians believe that each beer should have a custom-made glass, while other nations tend to use generic styles affixed with the brand’s logo.

   As beers of different styles have distinctive characteristics, the appropriate glasses for each style will be the ones that accentuate those characteristics. As a rule, the more distinctive the beer, the more distinctive the glass should be. This is why you find mainstream lagers served in stock glasses (or plastic cups, or without bothering with a glass at all). But a unique product such as berliner weisse demands an equally unique glass. Indeed, using the wrong type of glass for some products will reduce the quality of the experience due to inappropriate head formation, poor aroma release, or by failing to accentuate a particular beer’s sparkling/cloudy nature.