The Best Beer Coolers of 2023
Beer glasses, like any coveted item, have changed over the years. 8-tracks became cassette tapes became CDs became iPods became Spotify. Are we right? While we don’t expect to drink digitally anytime soon, despite the growth of AI, we have seen glassware in the U.S. transform.
Most importantly, we’ve seen a shift away from the awful shaker pint that we adopted for some reason (well, actually, there is a good reason. It’s a very stackable glass that can save space behind a bar). And respect paid to #properglassware.
Certain beer styles simply present, smell, and taste better in the right glass. So yes, that nucleation—custom laser-etched grooves inside the bottom of glasses—is not just for show. That extra detail gives dissolved CO2 something to bump into, creating more bubbles and a nice stream of fizz. Who would have thought!? Extra bubbles carry more aroma to the surface, giving you a better drinking experience.
Innovations like these continue to drive glassware forward. Although, some—like these trippy mushroom glasses from Tripping Animals—might just be for funsies. And that’s okay, too, because we love a statement piece!
But what we love more is when you pour that kölsch into a stange, aka kölsch glass, explicitly designed to keep that style cold and fresh.
Based on what we’ve seen trending in the industry this year, we put together a list of the best types of beer glasses to buy in 2023. And a few of our favorites from breweries across the country.
Whether you buy one or two of these for the beer lover this holiday season or just to add to your collection, we won’t tell.
Hop Culture’s Picks for the Best Beer Glasses to Buy Right Now
Nordic Cooler Glass
Hop Culture Spooky Brews – A thick, softly rounded base gives some heft to this drinkware. Sturdy and durable, the 17oz Nordic Cooler glass comfortably holds a pretty hefty amount of beer. The large glass surface area also showcases any beautiful liquid. Plus, the smooth rim makes for a gratifying drinking experience. We see this as a glass that you can faithfully use for various beer styles. It’s just a stunning, elegant glass.
We love this style so much that we landed on it for our newest Spooky Brews glass, a very spooky tribute to our favorite fall holiday.
But you can only find this glass in our Spooky Brews box here!
So, if you’re just looking for a straight-up Nordic Cooler glass, check out these sweet ones from breweries across the country:
Elsewhere Greenhouse Glass – Originally a glass used for ciders in Spain, some breweries have found this style (or something close to it like a 16oz jar glass or Bormioli Bodega glass) useful for beer as well.
We’ve seen beer folks repurpose this glass for beer, such as Everywhere in Orange, CA, Elsewhere Brewing and Two Tides in Georgia, and Burial in North Carolina.
Everywhere’s version celebrated the opening of the brewery’s new location in Midtown. Focused on creating a breathable living space dominated by plants, this glass features a bevy of plants and mushrooms. Probably as perfect for drinking as perhaps growing a plant inside, too. Although, we preferred it for drinking something like the brewery’s new Oktoberfest—Walk the Line.
Here are a few other versions we found and loved:
Burial Beer Anno X and Tripping Animals Tripping Frogs Edel Wine Glass – Ooh la la. Hot take: We might consider the stemmed Edel glass the new Teku. Super stylish and sleek, as perfect for wine as it is for delicate beer styles like farmhouse ales, saisons, wild ales, sours, and even barrel-aged stouts that require sipping, the stemmed Edel has become pretty popular at breweries across the U.S., U.K., and beyond.
Gorgeous to look at and yet functional to drink with, the stemmed Edel truly represents the evolution of glassware. If you don’t have one, you’re not entirely on top of your 2023 glassware game.
We’ve found a few that truly impressed us. Namely, Burial’s astonishingly beautiful version celebrates the brewery’s tenth anniversary—and Tripping Animals’ playful one with colorful frogs.
Here are a few more:
The Nigori Glass
Geek Glass Tokyo – At first glance, you might think this glass is over the top. But you’d be wrong.
Sure, it’s an eye-catching, scene-stealer with its bulbous bottom and beaker-like top. But it’s not all glitz and glam; it’s also form and function.
Designed by Geek Glass Tokyo as the perfect vessel for hazy IPAs, the Nigori Glass’s wide bowl aerates beer, releasing hop aromas that intensify as they travel up the narrow passage at the top.
Flavorwise, the rim that opens like a flower petal in bloom encourages the drinker to taste the beer on the tip of the tongue, accentuating the beer’s fruity notes, according to Geek Glass Tokyo.
Lastly, this beer just looks lit. To experience everything we love about uber murky, can’t-see-the-light-through-it hazy beer, the Nigori Glass puts that front and center.
Don’t knock it till you try it. Get one of these hand-blown glasses from Tokyo, pour your ffavorite hazy into its bowels, and let us know if you taste a difference!
Rastal Lawrence Tumbler
Tripping Animals Ever Haze Rastal Tumbler – We’ve seen the tumbler transform into a reliable piece of glassware over the past few years. The Lawrence elevates things a little. Capable of holding 13.5oz, the stemless Lawrence Tumbler has a wide bowl, which, although not as wide as the Nigori Glass, leverages the same idea: to release aromas in the beer.
As the glass gently tapers towards that top, it helps send those concentrated aromas right to your mouth.
Also, the reasonably broad base provides an excellent canvas for many designs. For example, Tripping Animal’s gorgeously wrapped golden Ever Haze tumbler. Or Finback’s rustic yet chic namesake Grazing Glass.
Fort Point KSA Day Glass – Technically called a stange, a kölsch glass has a tall, narrow body to present the clarity and light carbonation of this beer style. Much like a pilsner glass, a kölsch glass’ slim body also helps retain the style’s signature delicate head.
We’ve seen this glass gain popularity alongside the trend of kölsch service, a tradition in Köln we’ve seen grow in the U.S. where people walk around with trays full of fresh kölsch in stanges, replacing your glass as soon as it’s empty for as long as you’d like.
As more breweries develop their interpretations, they also find ways to buy their version of a kölsch glass, giving you more opportunities to add this to your #properglassware at home.
We enjoyed this version from Fort Point while sitting down to one of their weekly kölsch services held every Thursday in August. We love Fort Point’s iconic San Francisco branding in general, which often weaves in little nods to its hometown.
But this stange, in particular, blows us away with its subtle glam: gold rim and gold-outlined Grace Cathedral, a landmark building on top of Nob Hill.
Here are a few more to check out:
Craft Master Grand
Cloudwater Craft Master Glass – Perhaps considered the new classic American craft beer glass, the Craft Master Grand takes what taprooms and bars loved about the shaker pint—stackable, durable—and combines it with attention to sensory detail.
A slim, ergonomic base lets the consumer grip the glass without warming up the liquid too quickly (another downside of the shaker pint). At the same time, a wide bowl on top releases aromas and enables proper head retention.
Here are a couple of versions out there we love:
Outer Range Mural Goblet and Fort Point Sfizio Glass – The length and towering height of the 13oz Perl Goblet make this glass one of those conversation pieces. The elongated, cylindrical shape makes this glass perfect for lagers like Czech-style pilsner, Italian pilsner, helles, or even lager/ale hybrids like kölsch.
Here are a few we like:
Permanent Hangover Ur Not Gonna Remember – A style that first became popular a couple of years ago, Willi Becher is still pretty hot amongst breweries. Originally designed by Willy Steinmeier, who worked for the German glass company Ruhr Glas in 1954, the Willi Becher gets its name from its roots. Becher literally translates to cup in German.
This style has stayed at the forefront because the versatility of the glass makes it perfect for various beer styles. The glass flares out two-thirds of the way up before curving back toward the top, promoting excellent head and aroma.
Right now, Untappd has its limited-edition version of a Willi Becher glass, but we’re big fans of the designs from brands like Permanent Hangover, Humble Sea, and Tripping Animals.
Check ‘em out:
Burial Perceptions of Carnage Rocks Glass – Who says you can only drink brandy or whiskey in rocks glasses? For beers that you need to sip, we’re finding these glasses work well, too.
The heavy, durable base grounds the beer (and you, too), while the stemless, retro design encourages you to take a second sip on that 14.5% ABV imperial, barrel-aged stout. From there, just enjoy life late into the night.
Here are a few we love:
Dimpled Czech Mug (Tübinger)
Finback Crispy Tubinger Mug – If we’ve seen one beer culture rightfully rise into the limelight this year, it’s Czech beer. We’ve profiled everything from the proper way to pour Czech beer to Czech dark lagers to Czech-style pilsners.
Most Czech breweries serve beers in what’s called a Tübinger, a handled mug with dimples.
Originating in the 1800s in Germany, actually, this type of glassware didn’t fit the beer styles found in Germany but became very common in the Czech Republic.
The style works very well from some of the Czech pours like the hladinka—referred to as a smooth pour with roughly one-third foam and two-thirds beer in the glass. If you’re interested, you can read more about this type of glass here.
Most well-known breweries in the Czech Republic have their own branded Tübinger. And now that many American breweries have adopted Czech-style beers and the proper way to serve them to boot, you can find versions from some of your favorite places.
Handmade or Ceramic Mugs or Steinkrug
Belleflower Ceramic Stein – We’re cheating a little bit here. First off, let’s start with the more traditional. In Germany, the word stein translates to stone. So, while most Americans may think a stein is one of those heavy-liter glass pitchers you see popping up around Oktoberfest, the classic version is a steinkrug or stoneware mug.
The material helps keep the beer colder while also protecting it from light.
We really love the ceramic stein from Belleflower, a Portland, ME-based brewery that has been impressing us all year with its hazies, DIPAs, IPAs, and sours. Handmade by a local artist, Emily Armstrong, of Armstrong Pottery, this beautiful stein looks almost sold out. So hurry and grab yours.
And if you’re too late, don’t worry; we tracked down many other versions. Some aren’t so traditional, like Burial’s stoneware coffee mug or Great Notion’s Peanut Brother Mug.
But hey, the concept is the same: Keep your hot or cold drink at the right temperature and protect it from the elements!
MiiR Coffee Drinkware
Humble Sea MiiR Coffee Tumbler – Speaking of mugs, no backpacking trip is complete without some camp coffee. And, if you’re consuming coffee (beer or wine), you’ll want a lightweight, insulated cup.
Enter the Camp Cup from MiiR. Not only does MiiR make excellent adventuring gear, but the company also donates funds from all of its products to giving projects. So, with every purchase of a MiiR product, you can feel like you’re making a difference for cleaner water, a healthier environment, and a stronger community.
In addition to their collection of camping mugs, MiiR often partners with breweries across the country to create custom lines.
For instance, Humble Sea’s MiiR Coffee Tumbler is “perfect for your zarf (Google it),” according to the brewery. “The double wall vacuum insulation keeps yer bevy stoked, and the 18/8 medical grade stainless steel won’t transfer flavor or leave a metallic aftertaste.”
Here are a few others we enjoy:
Burial AnnoX Camelbak and Contrition MiiR Water Bottles – Just as important as drinking beer—staying hydrated! Or do both, and drink one of these hop waters, which are so hot right now.
All the versions below from some top-notch breweries have unique features—courtesy of partnerships with name brands like CamelBak, MiiR, Hydro Flask, and Klean Kanteen. But in general, you’ll find water bottles with not only rad artwork but also durability, versatility, vacuum insulation, and leakproof design. All made in the name of making it easy for you to take your fresh water, coffee, beer, kombucha, whatever you have, wherever your adventures take you.
Check these out: