Tall, wide, slender – every great craft beer has its perfect glassware match. And while you may smile at a chalice happily holding its Belgian IPA and think, “now there’s a good-looking couple” – together they’re so much more than that.

Aesthetics aside, the shape of a glass has a huge impact on the flavour of the beer and how you drink it. The thing is different parts of the tongue are responsible for different taste receptors. Sweetness registers at the front of the tongue, sourness at the sides and bitterness at the back.

How wide the rim of a glass is will determine how quickly you drink the beer and which flavour notes you pick up. A glass with a narrow rim makes you sip beer more slowly, reaching sweet and sour receptors first. A glass with a wide rim means you’ll take bigger mouthfuls at a time, reaching the back of the tongue quicker, highlighting the bitterness.

Unsure which to pair your favourite brew with? Consider this your glassware cheat sheet:

Glass Name: Pint
Beer Matches: Imperial IPA, imperial stout, Indian pale ale, brown ale, porter
Description: While popular, the pint glass’s design allows a lot of the aroma and gas to escape. The pint glass is designed for an easy grip, but it does no real favours for the taste.

Glass Name: Tulip
Beer Matches: Saison, Scotch ale, Belgian pale ale, Belgian strong ale, imperial stout
Description: The tulip’s curvy shape allows for a larger head of foam to be preserved, and the beer’s aroma to be enhanced.

Glass Name: Chalice
Beer Matches: Belgian IPA, Belgian strong ale
Description: Designed for deep sips, the chalice’s wide mouth maintains the head at the top, enhancing aroma.

Glass Name: Pilsner
Beer Matches: Pilsner, American lager, bock, blonde ale
Description: Perfect for particularly carbonated beers, the pilsner highlights the clarity and colour of a beer.

Glass Name: Weizen
Beer Matches: Pilsner, American lager, bock, blonde ale
Description: A weizen glass (translated to “wheat glass”) is typically used to serve wheat beers. It has a narrow bottom to help trap any sediment and its wide mouth helps to maintain the head and amplify aroma.

Glass Name: Snifter
Beer Matches: Belgian dark ale, Imperial stout, Imperial IPA, Indian pale ale, saison
Description: Perfect for stronger brews, a snifter is designed to capture and enhance aroma.