The tulip glass may look dainty, but the beers you should drink from it are anything but. Named after the flower its shape resembles, the tulip class is crafted with a longer stem and at first glance might resemble a goblet glass. However, the rounded base becomes more narrow towards the top, and then at the rim, the glass juts back out to create a lip of sorts. Besides just visual appeal, there is a reason for this uniquely shaped glass.
The lip at the top of a tulip glass is designed to capture the head of beers that typically present with a high head retention and a lot of foam. If you were pouring one of these beers into a standard glass, the active head would spill over the top. The head of your beer is what brings you that first whiff of aroma after you pour, as well as maintains your beer's aroma, so you want to contain as much of it as possible in order to not compromise the full aroma of your brew.
The foam, or head, of your beer acts as a net of sorts for the volatiles in your beer after you pour. Beer's volatiles include compounds such as hop oils, spices, fruity esters and fermentation byproducts. These compounds are a vital part of your beers aroma, and using a glass that promotes a healthy foam head allows your foam to capture as many of the volatiles as possible. The large rim on the tulip glass is designed specifically to promote a healthy head, meaning your beer's volatiles will stick around. So, what beers should you be pouring into your tulip glass? Beers that have a bright aroma and healthy head, as the tulip glass will enhance the aroma better than any glass in your bar. These beers include:
- American Wild Ales such as Russian River Brewing's Supplication
- Belgian Pale Ales such as The Lost Abbey's Devotion Ale
- Belgian Strong Ale such as North Coast Brewing Co.'s PranQster
- Double or Imperial Stouts such as Oskar Blues Brewery's Ten Fidy
- Saisons such as Brewery Ommegang's Hennepin
- Flanders Red Ales such as Upland Brewing Co.'s Malefactor
- Gueuzes such as Allagash Brewing Company's Coolship Resurgam
- Scotch Ales such as Founder Brewing Co.'s Backwoods Bastard
Want to brew your own beer to enjoy out of a tulip glass? Mr. Beer has some great recipes such as: