Drinking Beer: Bottle or Glass?

Beer Glass - Classic German SteinI’ve had numerous discussion on this quite simple topic, do you prefer to drink your beer from a bottle or out of a glass? There will be times when a glass may not be readily available so the answer is obvious but when given a choice do you choose to drink the beverage from its home or pour it into another container?

Thinking about it more deeply than one should, it really doesn’t make much sense to take a drink that is already housed in a container fitting for its capacity and pour it into another like-sized container, does it?

Personally, I prefer my beer in a glass over the bottle it arrived in. Perhaps I’m particular about my drinks but I’ve spent much of my life pouring drinks from their containers into cups of some sort and it feels natural to do the same with my alcoholic beverages as well. Some men think it’s “girly” to utilize a glass because that’s what a female would do while other guys are simply too lazy to get a glass for their drink and yet others truly want it in a bottle.

My father-in-law is a great example of a man that refuses to drink his beer from a glass. Perhaps that’s how it was in “his time” or perhaps he has some inner “man” that just needs to drink from the bottle to show his superiority of his female counterpart. It may be more simple than that, maybe… he just likes it that way. Drinking a beer is a state of mind where you settle down and want to relax and kick up your feet, shouldn’t you be allowed to do it as you feel most comfortable? Perhaps this, at its core, is why I choose a glass over the bottle–I feel more comfortable.

On the other hand, I am a microbrew drinker while my father-in-law is a mass market beer type o’ guy. I like to savor the flavor of whatever microbrew I have chosen and a nice clear glass allows me to see its color, density and carbonation. I’m not exactly the “common guy” as most common beer drinkers probably wouldn’t sit up at night thinking about how they can write about drinking from a bottle so my opinion may be stronger for such reasons. If I were to order a Bud or Coors at a restaurant I’m not going out of my way to ask for a frosty mug to accompany the light colored beverage. If one arrives, however, I’ll definitely utilize it while my father-in-law will push it to the side and let it defrost alone and empty.

As a laid back kind of guy I really don’t feel insulted if the waitress doesn’t give me a mug when I order a microbrew at a restaurant or fancy bar. I also don’t feel the need to point and laugh at a guy utilizing a glass over the bottle for being “like a women” because that’s something we should have stomped out of our society four hundred years ago.

How we experience our desired drink should be based on how we want it, not how society says we should. Although I would hesitate before ordering a “fruity” mixed drink or at a bar I’d probably not hesitate to pour my brew in a glass–I do have standards. In my humble opinion, beer deserves the respect of a clear glass to show off the craftsmanship that went into the recipe just as much as I’d expect the same for a fabulous red wine. How many people drink wine straight out of the bottle?

In the end, I think bottles are fine containers for drinking a beer, it just happens to be my second preference over a nice clear glass or frosty mug. If you’re a bottle drinker I won’t hold it against you. Especially since nobody enjoys a cold beer held against them.

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  • Reply
    Keith Brainard
    March 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Drinking beer from a glass is essential to capture the full intended experience of the beer. Pouring the beer into the glass releases volatile aroma compounds. It also releases CO2, allowing the proper head to form.

    To your point, this doesn’t matter much if you’re drinking a Bud Light. But if you drink an IPA from the bottle, you’re missing out on a good part of the pleasure of the beer. The aroma of hops will be more subdued, if you can smell it at all, and that will in turn decrease the perception of flavor.

    Of course, sometimes it’s just so much easier to drink it right from the bottle or can, and that’s okay too. But before making that choice, a person should know what they’re sacrificing.

    Great post!

  • Reply
    Derrick Schommer
    March 9, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Exactly. This would also be why you can find unique styles of glasses for specific beers, such as a wheat beer glass. They’re not designed simply for looks but for functionality.

    Much like a red wine glass and white wine glass differ as do those of a champagne glass because they release carbonation, or need air to ‘breath’ and alter their taste in a good way when it reacts to oxygen.

    It’s amazing the chemical reactions that occur when changing the environment around a well crafted beverage!

  • Reply
    Alice Wonder
    March 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I drink it from the bottle and prefer it.
    I also prefer microbrews, especially fond of ESB pale ale.

    I’m a slow drinker, and it may have to do with the additional surface area resulting in change of temperature. I don’t know. But I always prefer it from a bottle.

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