Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

In case you didn’t know it, Thursday April 7th is National Beer Day!

This particular day was chosen of course in honor of the partial repeal of prohibition on April 7th, 1933, that legally allowed beer with up to 3.2% alcohol to be brewed again. The full repeal (allowing liquor and other spirits) didn’t happen until Dec 5th… So hey!  2 days to celebrate!!

With the giant push towards craft beer in the recent 4-6 years in the United States I thought it would be fun to remind/inform everyone that presentation of beer in the proper glassware is a fairly significant part of the experience.  If you have ever visited Germany or Belgium you know that they have held strict to this for a lot longer than we have.  In Belgium not only do they always serve it in the proper glass, but almost always in the proper glass with the proper brewery’s logo!

So what’s in a beer glass? Hopefully beer, but there’s much much more…

As soon as the beer hits the glass, its color, aroma and taste is altered, your eye candy receptors tune in, and your anticipation is tweaked. Hidden nuances, become more pronounced, colors shimmer, and the enjoyment of the beer simply becomes a better, more complete, experience.

The foam created by pouring a beer acts as a net for many of the volatiles in a beer that create its aromas, such as hop oils, and tons of yeast fermentation byproducts like alcohol, fusels and fruity esters, spices or other additions. So a glass that promotes a healthy foam head may enhance the trapping of certain volatiles. And as varying levels of head retention and presentation are desired with different styles of beers, different styles of glassware should be used accordingly. Presentation marries science! 

Perfect opportunity for some SOLIDWORKS fun!

I quickly modeled up the glasses (and the beer and the foam) and then tried my hand at making some renderings in the new SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE.

To create the models I simply inserted this picture as a Sketch Picture to draw on top of in SOLIDWORKS.

, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Then I just used some simple lines, arcs, and splines to draw half of the profile of each one and then did a thin Revolve.  For the beer and the foam I just made some offset planes (that I could adjust up and down with dimensions) and then used the super improved in 2016, INTERSECT tool to make the regions in just a few seconds. 

, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Then it was off to SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE for the real fun! I previously had only used SOLIDWORKS PhotoView360 on a VERY limited basis. I just was never able to get the looks I wanted in PhotoView360.  Probably because I didn’t want to spend hours and hours setting up studios, lights, etc. SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE makes it very easy to get super professional looking results with very very minimal effort. After running through the tutorials at My.SOLIDWORKS.com for SOLIDWORKS VISUALIZE it was just a matter of playing around with the appearances to get colors and bubbles I liked and then trying some amazing canned environments to see what looked good.  No messing with aiming lights at all! As you can tell I also had fun playing with decals, backplates, and camera focal settings.

It’s worth noting that on my Dell M6700 (i7 core) machine, each of these renderings only took about 12-15min!   That was with the setting at 500 rendering passes.  I did a few at 1000 and 1500 passes to compare, and could not tell any difference at 1200×800 resolution.  Amazing results with minimal effort and time.  Awesome.


Thirsty yet?  Here we go…



 , Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Near cylindrical, with a slight taper and wide-mouth. There are two standard sizes, the 16-ounce (US Tumbler) or the 20-ounce Imperial (Nonic), which has a slight “bulge” towards the top, which helps in stacking them.  

Beers: Lager, Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, Porter, English Mild, English Bitter.



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Ranging from delicate and long stemmed (Goblet) to heavy and thick walled (Chalice). The more delicate ones may also have their rims laced with silver or gold, while the heavy boast sculpture-like stems. Some are designed to maintain a 2-centimeter head by laser scoring the inside bottom of the glass, which creates a CO2 nucleation point, and a stream of eternal bubbles and perfect head retention as a result.

Beers: Belgian IPA, Belgian Strong, Belgian Dubbels, Triples, and Quads.



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Heavy, sturdy, large and with handle, the mug is a fun and serious piece of glassware that comes in many sizes and shapes. The best part of using a mug is that you can clink them together with more confidence than other types of glassware, and they hold loads of beer.

Beers: Many American styles, and Many German Styles (think Oktoberfest!)



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Fancier version of the MUG, but made out of stoneware.  Many feature ornate and decorative lids to keep out unwanted flying pests while enjoying your time in the Biergarten!

Beers: same as mug…



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Nothing beats serving your Weizenbier (wheat beer) in an authentic Bavarian Weizen Glass. These classy glasses, with their thin walls and length, showcase the beer’s color and allows for much headspace to contain the fluffy, sexy heads association with the style. Most are 0.5L in size, with slight variations in sizes.  NO LEMONS PEOPLE!!

Beer: German Hefeweizens, Dunkelweizens, and any wheat variety.



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Typically a tall, slender and tapered 12-ounce glass, shaped like a trumpet at times, that captures the sparkling effervesces and colors of a Pils while maintaining its head. A Pokal is a European Pilsner glass with a stem.

Beers: Czech, Bohemian, and German Pilsners (duh!)



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Long and narrow bodies ensure that carbonation doesn’t dissipate too quickly and showcase a lively carbonation or sparkling color. 

Beers: Lambics, Gueuze, and Wild Ales.



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

A traditional German glass, stange means “stick” and these tall, slender cylinders are used to serve more delicate beers, amplifying malt and hop nuances.

Beers: The exclusive for Kolsch (especially served in mass quantities in Koln), but also an occasional Altbier, or Rauchbier.



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

Used for brandy and cognac, these wide-bowled and stemmed glasses with their tapered mouths are perfect for capturing the aromas of strong ales. Volumes range, but they all provide room to swirl and agitate volatiles.

Beers: Barleywine, Flanders Red, Oud Bruin, Double & Triple IPA, basically anything aged or strong (or both)…



, Celebrate National Beer Day with SOLIDWORKS

A stemmed glass, obviously tulip-shaped, wherein the top of the glass pushes out a bit to form a lip in order to capture the head and the body is bulbous.

Beers: Scotch Ale, many Belgian styles, Lambics, Gueuze, Saison, Double & Triple IPA


If all those sparkly, bubbly images don’t make you want to run out and grab a cold one, I don’t know what would?!


Now that you know about the right glass for the right beer don’t ever let anyone catch you using the wrong glassware for that $14 bottle of beer you bought!!

Happy National Beer Day! Cheers!


(thanks to BeerAdvocate.com and RateBeer.com for information on glassware)


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