Knowing that Belgium boasts over 1000 different beers, the Herculean task of listing and explaining each particular glass that goes with them is just too much for this post.
However, there are some things you should know in case you commit sacrilege by serving a Rochefort Trappist in a simple ribbed pint glass, for example.
Belgians know how particular connoisseurs can be about their glasses and always make sure to ask their customer if they’re still sure of their order when the bar doesn’t have the distinctive glass to go with it.
Let’s start looking at the general shapes:
Goblets and chalices are the go-to glasses for the Belgian Trappists, those beers hailed around the world and brewed in monasteries under the watchful eye of devoted monks.
Chalices are usually heavy and thick-walled: firm glasses for solid beers such as doubles, triples and even quadruples. Although both are majestic and have a wide opening for deep sips, the goblet is more elegant with its long-stemmed base and thinner glass. Some of the more flamboyant ones have their mouth laced with a slim band of silver or gold.
Trappists: Orval, Chimay, and Westmalle all have chubby, elaborately crafted glasses.
The beer glass that gives you a whiff of champagne luxury, the flute is defined by its elegant look. Beers with high carbonation levels prefer its long body for obvious reasons as they make the bubbles much more pronounced. Beers for these glasses include Bel Bev’s own Brussels’ Gueuze, fruity Lambics, and Flanders Oud Bruin
Named after the flower for obvious reasons, the tulip has a bulbous body before narrowing and then opening up again to make room for the beer’s head. This kind of glass is excellent for beers that taste best when a voluminous foam is created. An Example of popular beer served in tulips are Bel Bev’s own: Tripel Karmeliet,
The story of how the hourglass-shaped Kwak glass with a wooden holder came to be is probably the most amusing of all Belgian beer glass origin stories. The legend goes that, during Napoleon times when coaches were the preferred mode of transportation between cities, a certain inn holder by the name of Pauwel Kwak took pity on the coachmen who weren’t allowed to come in for a drink along with their well-off clientele because they had to watch their luggage and the horses. Kwak, somewhat of an amateur brewer, designed a glass with a wooden holder that the driver could fasten to the carriage so he too could enjoy a delicious Kwak brewski while steering.
Le Corne has its very own unique horn-shaped glass which originates from a black page in Belgian history. All the way back in the 17th century, about a hundred villagers were hanged in a horn-shaped part of the forest of Anlier during the Thirty Year’s War by Eastern-European soldiers who mistakenly thought they were in France.
The legend of Cornélius put forth by Brasserie D’Elby, says that there was a legendary brewer of an extraordinary beer in the victims’ midst, who buried his recipe underneath an old oak tree right before being captured.
Today Bel Bev is proud to offer La Corne du Bois des Pendus which boasts three variants that are poured into a horn-shaped glass with a wooden holder.