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What Are Nonic Pint Glasses?

Nonic Pint Glasses are beer glasses that were designed with a bulge near the top to improve grip and reduce the likelihood of being broken via impact or chipping when stacked.

A Nonic Pint Glass filled with a British pub beer
Nonic Pint Glass

A darling of British Pubs, the Nonic Pint Glasses's bulge actually serves a functional purpose. Let's find out what that is.

What are the benefits of using a Nonic Pint Glass?

The Nonic Pint Glass's is an improvement over the American pint glass in a few ways. And, some other beer glasses too.

  1. For starters, the bulge helps to absorb some of the impact when tipped over, something that happens to the best of us when we've had a beverage or two.
  2. Second, the bulge helps the holder grip the cup. In the case of the hurried server, this could be the difference in your pub beer arriving on time and it arriving on the floor.
  3. The bulge also helps with stacking. A traditional shaker pint glass, the kind you might get at a bar giveaway with a Bud logo on it, isn't keen on being stacked, both for nicking, chipping and breaking purposes, and, for the stickiness of condensation that gets formed along the glass. Cups aren't cheap to replace.
  4. Plus, they hold more. An Imperial Nonic carries 20oz of fresh beer. Or, 4 more ounces than you'd get otherwise in a pint. And, it's got a sharper look, even if that look is a bit more rounded.

Why is the Nonic Pint Glass good for British Ales?

It's good for British Ales because the standard British Pub is its origin. According to Beer Awareness, the Nonic Pint Glass was, "... invented in the 1960s as a response to thin, straight-walled glasses that chipped and “nicked” when their rims rubbed together while being washed."

It's also great to enjoy a cask beer from.

What other types of beer should you pour in?

In truth, you can pour just about any beer into a Nonic. At least, any beer that would normally get poured into an American pint glass that is.

One thing you do want to consider is the overall alcohol content of the beer that you're pouring in. The extra ounces in the pint glass will sneak up on you in ways you aren't prepared for if you're busy quaffing down 8% beers with your mates on holiday.

Then again, a delicious stout ...

How far should foam be from the top?

The foam should not cross the bottom of the bulge in a Nonic Glass when pouring your pint. Aiming for a balance dead center of liquid and foam within the bulge should be your target. If you can master that, you can master anything. Maybe.

How big is the Nonic Pint Glass?

Big enough to fit any ale or lager that you're pouring from a 12oz or 16oz tallboy can in the United States. But do us a favor, will ya? Pour in an a tasty Oatmeal Stout and not that old Miller Lite that's been sitting in the back of your fridge for a few months. You'll thank us later.

It fits 20oz of liquid.

Libbey No-Nik 16 oz. English Pub Glass

Glass manufacturer Libbey also makes 16oz Nonic Pint Glasses. The brand is known for being durable. Apparently, Libbey uses a special process of heat treating the top of the glass to improve it's thermal resistance and susceptibleness to chipping and breakage.

Buy a Libbey Nonic Glass.

Can you buy custom Nonic Pint Glasses?

Yes, you can. Custom Nonic Pint Glasses with your favorite sports team on them would be a great gift for a bachelors party or what not.