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Why Do Some Beer Glasses Have a Bulge at the Top?

A pint glass with a bulge at the top is filled with beer.
VDB Photos/Shutterstock.com

There’s a wide variety of beer glasses out there, and many of them are designed for specific types of beer. But you might notice a specific pint glass pretty often, and it has a subtle bulge at the top. Given that many others don’t have that feature, what makes this pint glass special?

That’s called a nonic pint glass, and the bulge does serve a purpose—several, in fact.

For beer drinkers, the bump is particularly useful as it provides a better grip. When your glass is slick with condensation due to an ice-cold beer, keeping your hold might prove difficult. The bump at the top gives a little resting spot for your hand. Then, there’s the reason it has the name nonic.

Luxu Pint Glasses

You can grab some nonic pint glasses for your own home.

A beer glass’s rim is often the most vulnerable to breaks and chips. If a nonic pint glass tips over, the thicker glass of the bulge prevents the rim from hitting a surface. It can prevent “nicks,” get it?

Finally, the bulge is useful for bartenders. Where normal pint glasses can stick together when stacked behind a bar, the bump at the top of nonic pints give a resting place to other glasses. Instead of getting stuck, a pint glass stacked on top rests on the bulge and is easy to extract for a bartender.

The next time you’re out to dinner and order a beer or head to the bar for an evening out, keep an eye on the type of pint glass you get. If it’s got that bulge, you now know why.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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