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    

Antique 1900's Pabst Blue Ribbon Pbr Pre Prohibition Beer Brewery Etched GlassRare Ellis's Ruthin Waters Etched Glass Pub Water Jug Wales To King Edward ViiVintage Leisy's Glass Ball Draft Tap Handle Cleveland OhioRare Set 4 Pre Prohibition Pabst Blue Ribbon Pbr Beer Saloon Glasses 1900Veuve Clicquot Traveller Bag Replacement 2 Glasses Rare Vintage Beer Glass Scraper "chief Oshkosh Special" Oshkosh Brewing Co."Rare Pre-prohibition Etched Shot Glass, Mchenry's Pure Rye Est. 1812Rare 1950s Redtop! Beer Acl Drinking Glass Goblet Tavern Trove Cincinnati OhioVintage Pfeiffer Minute Man Character Shell Beer Glass Awesome Shape(vintage) Ortlieb's Figural Beer Glass Shaped Tap Knob Handle Phila PaHamms Reunion April 30, 1981 Glass Beer Mug Rare Faust,s Own Beer Glass 6 3/4 "Vintage 1950 Schlitz Beer Bottles Production Run Anchor Royal Ruby Red Glass Flying Saucer ~ Rare Htf ~ John Lennon Birthday Oct 2002 ~ 16oz Beer Pint GlassVintage Bevo Beverage Anheuser Busch Barrel Beer Glass Awesome ShapeLot Of 6 Samuel Adams Ritzenhoff Infinium Stemmed Beer Glasses W/ BoxCoors Light Beer New Aluminum Tin Drinking Party Glasses Insulator Pint Size F/sVintage Glass Lackman's "pure Beer" Cincinnati, OhioRare Pre-prohibition Etched Shot Glass J. M. Davis, Mercantile Co Minneapolis (2Falstaff Beer Glass St Louis Billikens Logo5 Potosi Beer Mild Light And Smooth Centennial 1852 1952 GlassesSouth Omaha Brewing Acid Etch Beer Glass Nebraska W Eagle Etched Prepro C1900Bowmore Bicentenary Whisky Glass 1979Pabst Brewing Co Buffalo Branch Golden Amber Pt Export Blob Clyde Glass Works NyRare Milkglass Wine Beer Drink Glass From Jilly's Piano Bar Nyc Sinatra EucPeroni Astro Azzurro Etched Drinking Glasses. X 4Used Lot Of 4 Samuel Adams Boston Lager 16oz Sensory Glass For The Love Of BeerStella Artois 40cl Beer Chalice Gold Trim Glass Lot Of 4 NewRare Pre-prohibition Etched Shot Glass, J. M. Davis, Mercantile Co MinneapolisSet Of 12 Vintage Beer Glasses From Schulien's Restaurant & Saloon, Chicago, IlJax-"best Beer In Town" 3 1/2" Barrel Glass - Very Rare! - Late 40's-early 50'sStunning And Unusual, Set Of Vintage Shot Glasses, Cone Tops With Ball Bases.Set Of 4 Vintage Tusker Premium Lager Beer GlassesRare Pre - Pro Shot Glass - Deerfield Whiskey-trager & Co, Cincinnati, OhioRare Vintage Advertising Pearl Beer Texas Brewery Tall Lager Bar Glass12 New Guinness Stout Pint Glass Lighted Light Up Necklace St. Patrick's Day James Squire Glasses. The Art Of Drinking Beer.Vintage Crown Dema Pint Beer Mugs Glass #b509 Impressed Dimple Design England British / Uk - The Rev James (brains Brewery Cardiff) Pint Beer Glass 2015Carton Of 8 Vintage Miller High Life Beer 7oz Glass Bottles Early 1980's (empty)Moet Chandon Ice Imperial Champagne Glasses X 2 Glass Not Plastic Rare NewBitburger German Beer 1l Boot Glass And 6 .3l Glasses VintageVintage Rare Pearl Lager Beer Advertising Glass Tray 6 3/4 4 7/8 InchesArdbeg Islay Malt Whisky Bicentenery Tot Glass NewRaffles Hotel Singapore Sling GlassTalisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky Glass - Rare Lambic Kriek "st Louis" Belgian Beer GlassVintage Cherry B Glass In Mint Condition With Spiral Stem!Set 2 Rolling Rock Green Mason Jar Glasses Mugs Vintage Retro Beer Bar Man CaveVintage 1987 32 Oz. Vintage Glass Beer Mug Bud Light Spuds Mackenzie BudweiserLarge Vintage Cocktail Shaker ~ Glass & Chrome ~ Mid Century ~ Frosted BirdsVintage Shot Glasses In Holder Atomic Sputnik Retro 1950sVintage Hamm's Beer Pint Glass - Hamm's Bear4 Large Spaten Munchen 1 Liter Gs Beer Dimple Glass Mugs6 Detroit Lions Glasses Nfl Football Logo 14-oz Tumblers Smoke Tint 1960's/70'sCerveza Dos Equis Hand Blown Set Of 4pcs Green Rimmed 16oz. Beer GlassesRare Thumb Print Floral Mug Goblet Glass VintageCerveza Polar Beer Venezuela Glass 6.5" Tall/barware Glasses/beer GlassesLone Star Beer 5/8 Size Glass Marbles~ Brand New ~ Set Of (4) Blue Moon Beer Bar Short Drinking Glasses