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]

British Beer Labels

British Beer Labels

This pre-1965 collection is organized alphabetically by brand and contains scans of seemingly thousands of beautif… [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    

Hm 1930 Silver Top Whisky Noggin Tot Glass Jug & Whisky Label London 1930 Hm 1930 Silver Top Whisky Noggin Tot Glass Jug & Whisky Label London 1930 Vintage Buckeye Beer Bullet Glass Bar Light "rare" Great Condition !!!!!!!Golden Grain Belt Minneaspolis Pre-pro Etched Beer GlassDelightful Vintage Babycham 6 Glass Party Pack Perry Glasses, Boxed - Sb C56Brand New Moet And Chandon Imperial Ice Champagne Glasses Set Of 6 New Veuve Clicquot- Unique Poly Carbonate Champagne Glasses X2Brand New Moet And Chandon Imperial Ice Champagne Glasses Set Of 6 Stunning Art Deco Cocktail Set 30s Crystal Glass Shot Glasses & Mini Syphon ChicDavenport Beer Early Iowa Pre-pro Etched Beer GlassRare Ommegang Hbo's Game Of Thrones Glasses/goblet Set Of Two (2) Beer GlassesOid Preprohibition Acid Etched Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer GlassAngry Orchard Tap Handle, With Two Raised Glass 'angry Tree' Pint GlassesVtg Glass Tip Tray W/ Original James Hanley's Ale Beer Bulldog Decal Applied Angry Orchard Hard Cider Embossed 16oz. Set Of 4pcs Pint Glasses NewBrand New 6 X Moet Chandon Champagne Glasses Flutes - In Box Never Been OpenedThree Floyds Teku Glass 3 Floyds Dark Lord Russian River Beer Snifter RareSet Of Two Game Of Thrones Ommegang Beer Glasses And 2 Metal Etched CoastersH. Holtz & Co. Seattle, Washington Pre-pro Etched Beer GlassOld Heidelberg Beer Bellingham, Washington Pre-pro Etched Beer GlassVintage Lone Star Beer 6 Oz. Barrel Glass Red Enamel Logo/ Set Of 41940's Jax Beer Glass New Orleans, La. LouisianaDuvel Collection Eley Kishimoto Tulip Glass For Belgian BeerRare Set Of 4 Hi-ball Glasses From Frank Sinatra Favorite Jilly's Piano Bar Nyc Marathon Superfine Premium Beer GlassNew Lot Of 2 Angry Orchard Hard Cider Raised Design Pint Glasses Very Rare !!!Vintage Jax Beer "best Beer In Town" Bar Glass Tumbler...nice!1890 Windisch - Muhlhauser Lion Brewery, Cincinnati, Ohio Embossed Beer GlassAntique Old Style Etched Beer Glass La Crosse Wisconsin 1940s Era Nice!!2 Official Underberg Shot Glasses, From Germany. Excellent ShapeRare Corona Ice Bucket With Opener And Set Of "find Your Beach" Glasses 6 Cinzano Mixin Style Glasses Different Colours Used But Vgc Charity(3) New Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Pint Beer Glasses New Salt & Pepper Shakers Beer Coronita 7 Oz Glass Bottles (corona)Lone Star Beer Glass Griesedieck Bros Flat Top 1953 Champagne Glass Colored Set Can Copper Beer CanJohn Gund Brewing Lacrosse, Wis. Pre-pro Etched Beer GlassSet Of 4 Perrier Jouet Hand Painted Flower Champagne Wine Flutes Glasses VintageNib, Set Of 6 Germany Tucher Weizen .5l Pilsner Beer Glasses With Swirl Design Shock Top Pilsner Glass Two Large Leffe 0.5litre Glasses 500ml 50cl PintStella Artois Set Of 6 New Beer Chalice Glasses 40cl New In Box Coon Chicken Inn Coast To Coast Beer GlassCorona Mexico Map Beer Neon Light Glass NewAntique Georgian Scottish Highland Cattle Horn "kings Shilling" Glass Whisky CupThe Original Southern Comfort Round Bottom Glass, 1998 Promotional Item, RareSet Of 2 Rolling Rock Green Mason Jar Glasses Beer Bar Pub Retro Man Pool Dorm4 * Vintage* Collectible Grolsch Beer Bottles Brown Glass With Swing Top LidsOld Export Cumberland, Maryland Pre-pro Etched Beer GlassHofbrau Stuttgart 2l German Beer Drinking Glass Boot Gtuttgarter Hofbrau Brewery2 Glasses 15 Cl Westvleteren XiiBlue Moon Pilsner Beer Glasses - Set Of 3 Aluminum 12 Oz CupsTusker Export Kenya Africa 50 Jubilee Beer Drink Glasses 10 Oz Elephant LogoRare Vintage 1940s Peoples Ruffs Beer Glass Duluth Mn Minnesota Fitger FitgersAntique Shot Glass Pre-prohibition Wm. Edwards Co. Newport Club Cleveland OhSpiegelau Ipa Glasses Set Of 4 Sierra Nevada Design 16 Oz. Nib Rainier Beer Glasses 14 Oz. German Beer GlassesVintage The German Brewing Co Cumberland Md Sample Beer GlassHobgoblin Halloween Bar Pub Pint Glass Used Ce M12 Made For The British Market