Beer glasses encompass everything from modern pint glasses covered in bright advertising to the earliest hand-blown glassware in America. In the 18th century, water was not served at meal times, so glass goblets were created to hold wine, beer, ale, or cider instead. Early stemware designed for beer can sometimes be identified by engraved hops-and-barley motifs; these glasses were usually tall and narrow, mounted on a stem, and finished with a rounded base.

The glass cups, mugs, and tankards of the 18th century were relatively simple in form, and smaller than contemporary versions, as the ale they held was brewed much stronger than modern beer. Beer mugs were generally made in a cylinder or barrel shape with a handle and no foot. Tankards were the largest mug style, and sometimes included a flattened thumb-rest at the peak of the handle’s curve. Because they were manufactured in glasshouses that produced bottles and windows, early American mugs were almost always made from colored glass.

In the 1820s, the development of a glass-pressing technique by John P. Bakewell allowed glassware patterns to be mass produced, quickly diversifying the shapes and styles of beer glasses. The simplest-looking tumblers with smooth sides and no foot were quite difficult to blow by hand, but pressed glass molds made this form commonplace.

Throughout the 19th century, ale glasses grew taller to accompany more liquid, and were often made of thick, pressed glass to be more durable for public bars or restaurants. Most commercial establishments served their beer in simple conical tumblers with flat pressed panels, made in various solid colors. Others resembled smaller versions of soda fountain glasses, with fluted, tapered bowls that narrowed at bottom above a short circular foot.

During the 1880s, as breweries expanded and pasteurization allowed them to send products longer distances, beer-glass advertising became popular. A few of these early advertising glasses used color-embossed logos, but most relied on an acid-etching silkscreen process. Leading up to the start of Prohibition in 1920, a new technique of frosting glasses became popular, whereby an opaque layer was sprayed onto the smooth glass surface in various patterns.

Once alcohol was legalized again in the 1930s, glassware designed for beer was often colorfully painted with a brewery’s name and company slogan, such as “Walter’s Beer tastes better” or “Arrow 77: It Hits the Spot.” Straight-sided tumblers became the most common, leading to the modern conical pint glass or “shaker” glass made in the standard American pint size of 16 ounces.

However, since the U.S. has never instituted legal restrictions on beer serving size, American bars have used all manner of serving vessels, including varieties like the tall pilsner glass, with a slightly indented waist just before its base, and the goblet or tulip-shaped glass mounted on a short, sturdy stem.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Red Fox Chapter

Red Fox Chapter

The guys at the Connecticut Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America have created a full-on tribute to t… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Bock Beer Labels

Bock Beer Labels

A quick tour of pre-Prohibition bock beer label designs with nice, high resolution scans. Do the whole slide show o… [read review or visit site]

Trappist Beers and Monks

Trappist Beers and Monks

An interesting site dedicated to Trappist beers and the history of the development of beer brewed by Trappist Bened… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Stunning Art Deco Cut Glass & Chrome Cocktail Shaker 1930's French Czech AntiqueNew Orleans Brewing Association Etched Beer Glass Louisiana Beer Jaxor DixiebeerNew Orleans Jax Beer Cigarette Lighter Restaurant Bar Glass China Club HotelCapitol Brewing Co. (jefferson City Mo.) Pre-prohibition Beer GlassAntique 1850 Pre-prohibition Kuebeler Brewing Co Sandusky Ohio Beer Glass Mint!New Orleans Brewing Glass Advertising Old Union Beer Precursor To Jax Beer Regal (2) Matching Large Vintage Grand Prize Beer Glasses In Great Condition Set Of 6 Vintage Grain Belt Beer Bar Glasses,Bosch 4.25" Shell Beer Glass Liebrau Beer Sampler Nickle Barrel Glass Oshkosh Wisconsin Circa 1950's ?Potosi Beer Barrel Tasters GlassThe Krantz Brewing Company Old Dutch Glass The Good Beer Toledo Ohio Vintage J. D. Iler Brewing Rochester Brewery Kansas City Mo GlassSet Of 6 Rolling Rock Classics Thoroughbred Horse Of The Year Pint GlassesWhite Cap Mini Barrel Shaped Beer GlassKona Brewing Wooden Glass HolderVintage P.o.n. Feigenspan Beer Xxx Amber Ale Milk Glass Tumbler Newark Nj PonGoose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout Bcbs Snifter 2015 Glass Tulip Bcs Beer Glass With Gold Trim, The Kuebeler Brewing Company Of Sandusky, OhioVintage Weber's Pioneer Brew Beer Glass Theresa Wis, Wisconsin, Wi GreenPre Pro Shot Glass Advertising Drink Rosemont WhiskeySet Of Four (4) Angry Orchard Apple Cider Beer Pint Glasses Embossed Logo New!!New Glenfiddich Whisky Pop Up Metal Glass Rose Gold Colour With Pouch 1 Bombay Sapphire Balloon Glass-perfect For Gin Lovers!- Ideal Easter Gift!Cointreau- Goldschlager- Eristoff- Virgin- Shot Glasses X4Budweiser Beer Budman Collection Lot Glass Marbles 5/8sizeKings Court Painted Label Beer Wine Tulip GlassSet Of Two (2) Angry Orchard Apple Cider Beer Pint Glasses Embossed LogoStella Artois Limited Edition Buy A Lady A Drink 1 Chalice Glass Nib 33clPilsener Of El Salvador Stemmed Beer Glass, El SalvadorVintage Schmidt Beer 12 Oz Mug Glass Red Gold LogoJack Daniels Whiskey Plastic Taster Glasses Set Of 10 Home Bar Pub Man CaveVintage Retro Shot Glasses On Stand Gumball Feet"93" Beer Painted Label Beer Glass Milan Brewing Milan OhioRahr's Beer GlassRare Bad Ass Brewery Pint Glass Detroit Kid Rock's BreweryPre Prohibition Beer Glass Moerleins National Lager 2 Vintage Libby Hamm's Br Co St Paul Mn 1960's Acl Barrel Style Beer GlassesHamm's Beer Glass Set Of 2 Vintage Small Barrel ShapeVintage Womens Institute Wi Commemorative Golden Jubilee Wine Glass 1915 1965Set Of 6 Warsteiner Glass MugsDogfish Head Glass Etched Logo Goblet 16 Oz 1 Tanqueray Gin Balloon Glass-gin & Him-ideal Easter Gift!X1 Kahlua American Coffee Liqueur Hiball Glass New Bar Pub Home Restaurant PartyVtg Stern Brau Beer Glasses Star/peerless Brewery Belleville Il Lot St. Louis MoDuvel Tulip Glass Dutch Artist Parra 6 1/2" Glass!!! New Castle Brown Ale GlassesVintage Jax Beer Drinking Glass New Orleans, La.Collectible Advertising 4 Guinness Beer New Pint Glasses (four) Barware 20oz 3 Beer Glasses Gettlemen,stag And Grain BeltOne (1) Pint Glass Jack Ass Stout Pints Brewery Laughlin Nevada Beer Pub Alcatraz Brewing Co Beer GlassWalter's Beer Glass Eau Claire WisconsinGerman.5 Ltr Beer Glass - SpatenKitsch Retro Vintage Set 6 Pink Square Checked Shot Cocktail Glasses 1950s 1960sCourvoisier- Sherry- Brandy Set Of 3 Shot GlassesG&h Mumm&co Champagne GlassesAntique Mettlach Villeroy & Boch Ceramic Beer Tumbler 1/4 L "lady By Beach "Vintage Ruby Red Bohemian Glass Decanter + Antique Crystal Faceted Glass StopperBrain Freeze Skull Shot Glasses - Set Of 4 - Drinking Gift Set Novelty Barware