7 IPA glasses that maximize the flavor of your brew

Mic / Amazon

If you're a fan of IPAs, you probably know that the right glass can make a beer taste better. The best IPA glasses do just that, and they typically feature a tapered lip to capture the aroma and maximize the flavor. Serious fans of the hop-forward beverage will want to opt for glasses made specially for IPAs — but if you just dabble in IPAs or want a glass that'd also work for other beers, there are versatile options that can serve you well.

An IPA glass is a specific type of barware, designed specially to enhance an IPA’s flavor. A top-of-the-line option will feature a tapered bowl to enhance the aroma of the beer, along with nucleation points and a ridged base. Nucleation points are small etchings at the bottom of the glass — these etchings, along with the ridged base, help to aerate the beer while you sip.

If you are on a budget or choosing an option that’s made of plastic or stainless steel, you might have to sacrifice some of the finer points of an IPA glass, including the nucleation points and ridged base. While ones made out of real glass are the go-to for most beer enthusiasts, other designs have their perks, too. Those made of plastic are a durable option that can look like glass but feel safer for outdoor use or group gatherings (where they might get dropped or knocked over). Alternatively, glasses made with insulated stainless steel are also durable but can prevent condensation and keep drinks cool for longer.

If you enjoy drinking beers other than IPAs, you might prefer a versatile Teku, tulip-shaped, or imperial pint glass. The Teku glass is a unique one-size-fits-most option for a variety of beers, including IPAs. Tulip glasses are commonly used for double IPAs and other beers with high alcohol content as well as Belgian beers, while imperial pint glasses are a solid option for standard IPAs and the vast majority of other beers.

With all this in mind, scroll on for the six best glasses for drinking IPAs — all of which you can buy on Amazon.

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1. The cult favorite

If IPAs are your go-to beers, Spiegelau’s IPA glass is a worthy investment. Designed in collaboration with breweries Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, it ticks all the boxes for an IPA glass: a bulbous shape that tapers inward, a short ridged stem, and nucleation points at the bottom of the glass. One Amazon reviewer described their Spiegelau glasses as “THE glasses to properly enjoy an IPA.” It holds 19.1 ounces, and it’s also dishwasher-safe. According to the manufacturer, it can run through 1,500 wash and dry cycles without a scratch — which suggests it’s quite durable, too. It's available in singles or sets of four.

One reviewer wrote: “My favorite glass. I wasn’t super sold on how a glass could possibly make beer THAT much more enjoyable, boy was I missing out. Easy to swirl, and once it gets to the end of the beer the cascading effect of the glass keeps the head going until the end, making every sip as aromatic and juicy as the first. Just buy it, you will love it.”

2. The cheaper alternative

If you like the idea of a dedicated IPA beer glass but want to save a few bucks, Kegs & Code Co.’s IPA glass will set you back only $10 apiece. Like the previous selection, it holds 19.1 ounces and has a tall bowl that tapers inward at the lip and a ridged base. One major difference is that this glass lacks nucleation points — but the ridges along the stem do a fine job at amplifying your beer's flavors, according to reviewers. It “opens up the beer and really lets the flavor out,” according to one reviewer. Another shopper mentioned that it “does an excellent job of bringing out aromas and flavors in beers.” While the manufacturer specifies that it's dishwasher safe, this is a glass you'll want to handle with care — some reviewers have mentioned it's a bit fragile.

One reviewer wrote: “This glass is a nice looking IPA glass. For the price you can't go wrong. At first I thought this glass will easily topple over with the type of bottom it has but it's pretty sturdy. Really cool glass.”

3. The best all-arounder

Beer glasses come in all shapes and sizes, but Rastal’s Teku Beer Glass is a versatile, critically acclaimed choice for practically every beer, including IPAs. It’s designed with a bell-shaped — albeit slightly angular — bowl and a long stem reminiscent of a wine glass. While the wine-glass shape might deter some folks, the stem comes in handy for keeping beer cool since you don’t have to grasp the base of the bowl with your hands. This glass doesn't have a ridged base, but it does feature nucleation points at the bottom to provide a nice cap of foam. A bit smaller than the other glasses on this list, it holds only 14.2 ounces of brew. And, while it's technically safe to run through the dishwasher, users have had better luck washing it by hand.

One reviewer wrote: “These glasses literally make every beer taste better. IPAs, stouts, even non-alcoholic beers. I got them for my husband because he's a beer snob and was going on about how he needed them to enhance his beer experience... I'm also now a believer.”

4. The insulated glass

A warm beer can totally downgrade your IPA-drinking experience — and Outset’s IPA beer glasses are designed to nip that problem in the bud. The insulated glasses are constructed from double-walled stainless steel to keep your IPA cold, so you can really sip and savor your brew at your own pace. While they don't have a ridged base or nucleation points, they are otherwise shaped like traditional IPA glasses. They come in pairs, and they each have a maximum capacity of 16 ounces. Reviewers have recommended washing these glasses by hand rather than in the dishwasher.

One reviewer wrote: “I put them in the freezer and it keeps the beer cold for a while afterwards. Great for IPAs specifically due to their design.”

5. The shatterproof plastic cup

If you plan on drinking your beer outdoors or need glassware that can survive the occasional party foul, these outdoor beer glasses are made to stand up to dings and drops. While they look like glass, they're actually made out of shatterproof, BPA- and BPS-free plastic. They hold 18 ounces each and come in packs of four. Unlike your single-use party cups, these are reusable — just chuck them into the dishwasher when they're dirty. Like their glass-made counterparts, they feature a tapered bowl and a base with ridges along its sides (although they skip the nucleation points).

One reviewer wrote: “In my opinion these are perfect reusable IPA plastic cups for outdoor use. Perfect for my 16oz cans of beer. I was surprised because they are a lot thinner than I thought they would be but to my surprise it came with 4 cups when I only thought I was buying 1. I’m glad I can take these outside and not [worry] about them breaking. I’m going to buy more for my friends. These are going to make good gifts for my IPA craft beer friends. The packaging is nice.”

6. The tulip glass

Tulip glasses are great at bringing out the flavors of Belgian ales, but they're also a solid choice for strong beers like double IPAs. One reviewer confirmed that the glasses are "quality, inexpensive, [and] perfect for a double IPA and high alcohol content ales." Each 16-ounce glass features a tulip-shaped bowl so you get the aromas with smooth sides (not nucleated or ridged). They're machine washable, and users have described them as sturdy. Snag them as single glasses or a four-pack.

One reviewer wrote: “Awesome glassware. I love these for belgian styled beers but also for my IPA's. Honestly, I use it for most beer styles and I have been very pleased with the results."

7. The imperial pint glass

If you prefer a classic pint glass for your beer, these imperial pint glasses could be a great fit. Sure, they might look like ones you’d find at the pub, but unlike the standard straight-sided option, this one works well for IPA beers, too, since it's designed with a tapered lip and a rounded curve beneath it. The rounded shape also makes it easier to hold, which is important since this glass can hold a lot of beer at once — 20 ounces, to be exact. It lacks nucleation points and the ridged base of an IPA-specific glass, but the slightly wider mouth can help bring out the aroma of your brew.

While it might not be ideal for high-alcohol IPAs, reviewers have attested it’s a solid option if you’re looking for a go-to pint glass.

One reviewer wrote: “I’ve spent more than I care to say in trying to find the perfect pint glass. This is it. A true pint and just the right thickness.”