Aah, the American Pint (also known as Conical, Shaker, or Tumbler Pint); the standard 16 oz vessel for any average bar serving up suds. This type of pint glass was born out of necessity by those same bars asking “how can we fit more glassware into the same space while also cutting down the amount of beer we have to serve (the English Imperial pint is 20 ounces)?” The answer was to standardize it’s size and shape to fit the bars’ needs, not those of the customer.
Aside from a collectable item most breweries choose to brand, this type of pint glass is virtually worthless in my book. I’ll drink from one if served that way but, you won’t see this type of glass in a) any of my beer reviews or b) in your hands at my house. But why do I had a distaste for the most common type of glassware? Partly because servers feel the need to pour tap beer to the rim due to Mr. Bud Light’s cries of being robbed of a few ounces of cheap swill. You see, 90% of taste is aroma. Beer’s foam (or head) retains that aroma, making it easier to smell. It’s damn hard to get a good whiff of a beer that’s poured directly to the rim of the pint with no head on it and it increases the probability of sticky fingers from overflowing beer. If it’s Bud Light you’re drinking from that American Pint, what does it matter I suppose? But I digress…
The other part for my distaste is that it’s also quite hard to get a good whiff of a beer in a glass that does nothing to capture and hold that aroma. The angle of the pint’s walls makes it easy to stack the pints for storage but also allows all of the beer’s aroma to flow right out of the top of the pint.
In a world where craft beer continues to boom in popularity and educated beer bars serve beer in their proper glass, if given the choice, why might one decide to pour a good beer into something only one step above a red solo cup? Use an Imperial Pint, Nonic, or Pilsner Glass instead of an American Pint.
Styles to pour in an American Pint: (if you must)
American Adjunct Lager
American Amber / Red Ale
American Amber / Red Lager
American Blonde Ale
American Malt Liquor
American Pale Lager
Low Alcohol Beer