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You don’t have to start researching hops or Trappist monasteries in Belgium to up your beer-drinking experience (though you certainly can if that’s your style). It’s the little things, you know? Like drinking a beer in a chilled mug instead of straight from the bottle. If you happen to be interested in bringing a bit of pub to your own home, we’re recommending the best beer mugs to keep on hand.
The first thing to know is that a beer mug is not the same as a pint glass. The best beer mugs (also called a pub stein in some parts of the world) have a handle, which make them easier to pick up while also preventing your hands from warming the glass. You can also store a thick beer mug in the freezer to keep it chilled. A good beer mug will stay cold for longer too, making it ideal for treats like root beer floats because it won’t melt the ice cream as quickly.
The best beer mugs are a great way to elevate your next party or game night, offering a grown-up alternative to plastic cups or drinking out of a can. They make great display pieces on your bar cart or for your home bar as well.
What Makes a Good Beer Mug?
Thickness and Weight: We like a beer mug with a solid heft to it. A weighty stein is sturdier, and the thickness of the glass will retain coldness better than thinner pint glasses. There’s also something satisfying about holding a big ole beer mug in your hand.
Handle Shape: Is it comfortable to hold? Do your fingers touch the glass when you grasp the handle? Is it an awkward shape? All important considerations. In general, the handle should be comfortable enough to hold for long periods of time, while keeping your fingers and knuckles from touching the glass.
Dishwasher-Safe: Not all glasses are dishwasher-safe and unless you want to add an extra step to your cleanup routine, we recommend a mug that’s easy to wash.
Design: This mostly comes down to personal preference, but we looked at a variety of beer mug styles and designs, from the traditional to the modern. Consider a classic, pebbled design in the German beer stein tradition, or maybe pick up the smooth surface of an English pub glass. We found versatile options that also work for regular everyday drinks too, like teas and sodas.
Capacity: This is the most important consideration. A beer mug should be large enough to contain an entire bottle, so you don’t get an inch or two of leftover beer left to warm on the side. We’ve found beer mugs that hold a minimum of 12 ounces — about the capacity of a regular bottle of beer.
1. Libbey Heidelberg Glass Beer Mugs
We’ll cheers to this popular beer mug, which comes in a traditional German style (think: “dimpled” design and a smooth, curved handle), which is best for accentuating the taste and aroma of thick ales and lagers.
This mug comes in a set of four and has some serious heft to it, which makes it feel particularly high in quality. The shape of the glass has eight facets in a classic German style, and particularly thick glass, which keeps beverages colder for longer.
It’s safe to keep in the freezer, and it’s also safe for the microwave if you want to use it for hot beverages as well. Clean up is easy as this mug is dishwasher-safe.
We like that the glass is clear, not cloudy, and looks great on the shelf. The curved handle offers a secure and comfortable grip.
This mug holds 16 ounces.
Pros: Heavy-duty mug holds up to repeated use and washing.
Cons: Most old-fashioned design. Some prefer a more modern look.
2. Chef Captain Dimple Stein Beer Mug
We like the old-fashioned dimpled design of this beer mug, but we especially like the wide shape of the handle and large capacity.
This mug can hold 20 ounces, large enough for a standard bottle and then some. It also has an extra wide handle that keeps your fingers (and body heat) away from the glass, which is a nice touch. This mug is also dishwasher-safe.
People like that, unlike other styles, this mug doesn’t have a recessed bottom, which often catches dishwasher liquid, and that it is packaged in protective foam to prevent breakage in transit. As for drinkability, the wide brim makes it easy to sip — or chug — your favorite beer.
Pros: More space between the handle and the mug means less chance of cold fingers. This mug is also great for tea, coffee and others beverages too.
Cons: Large size can make storage difficult.
3. Amlong Crystal Beer Mug
If you want a mug with a smooth surface instead of ridged or dimpled, we really like this set of two, 12 ounce mugs. Still freezable, these mugs are a little less clunky than other, thicker styles, and are more suitable for slightly lighter ales and lagers.
Though smaller than other mugs, these are still large enough to contain a full bottle of beer, which is a must. Though lightweight, these mugs still have a comfortably thick and heavy bottom, so there’s less chance of it tipping over on the table or bar counter. The handle is also particularly well-designed, making this mug easy to hold.
Pros: Less clunky than other models, more minimalist, streamlined design.
Cons: Thinner glass loses its chill more quickly. Smallest capacity on our list.
4. Dragon Glassware Beer Glass
The double-walled design of this beer mug is its stand-out feature, which helps keep the glass cold and produces a cool, floating look when used. The mug is durable enough to be put in the freezer too.
According to the manufacturer, this glass is handcrafted from high-quality glass that is always crystal clear. The double-wall design not only helps keep the glass and your beverage colder for longer, it also prevents the glass from sweating or leaving rings on surfaces (I.e. from condensation that often drips off the side of beer mugs).
This mug has a capacity of 13.5 ounces. We like the slim, elongated design, which makes this beer mug ideal for ice cream floats, smoothies and other chilled drinks as well.
Pros: Double-walled design keeps your drink cool and prevents rings.
Cons: Handle is a little smaller than we’d like it. This is recommended for hand washing rather than putting in the dishwasher.