For some, the choice of what glass to drink beer from is simpleclean or dirty. That’s if they even bother with a glass at all. Still, the huge variety of beer glasses exist for a reason. Some of them have design touches that suit a particular style, presenting it in the best possible way.

Some of them are the product of more practical thinkingthat is, what will let me drink copious amounts with the fewest trips to the bar.

So keeping that in mind, here are a few suggestions for how best to serve whatever you’re pouring, be it PBR or a Bourbon-barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord. Just remember, whatever you choose to drink from, make sure it’s clean.

There are two vessels that probably every beer-drinker has put to their lips at some point in life. One is the American Pint (AKA Shaker Pint). Bars love them because they last a long time and stack easily at the end of the night. They were originally designed for bartenders to mix drinks in before serving them to you in something else. They do nothing for beer except hold it. Because the glass doesn’t bring out any subtleties it is best for beers that have none to enhance, such as typical American light beers or any brand that averages more than four television commercials per hour during sporting events. The other ubiquitous serving tool is the Red Solo Cup. It doesn’t enhance your experience any more than the American Pint glass does (then again, it doesn’t enhance it any less either). It is best for serving cheap Natural Light during games of beer pong or PBR if your backyard party is teeming with hipsters who boarded the irony train a few years back but forgot to get off.

The English Pint Glass differs little from its American cousin except for a slight flaring near the top. That makes it slightly easier to hold but doesn’t really do anything for the taste of the beer. So use it if you’re having a lot of anything you’d pour in an American Pint (or red Solo cup). Or, as it is as standard in British pubs as the Shaker pint is in American bars, you could fill it with an English ale, put a soccer match on the telly and pretend that semester studying abroad never ended.

Mugs are sturdy basics excellent for a celebratory night out as the handle makes it much easier to clink your companions’ glasses without unfortunate accidents. It’s versatile and can accommodate a variety of styles but filling it with a good porter is always a safe choice.

Like your average supermodel, a Pilsner Glass tends to be tall and thin. It is designed to display the color and effervescence of the beer, most notably its namesake. Yuengling, Stella Artois and Beck’s are examples of a good fit.

The Yard Glass with its long cylinder and bulb shape on the bottom is typically filled with ale. It’s not something you’re going to be use to serve drinks at dinner. Instead, it’s more likely to be used for a special toast or in competition to see who can down a yard the quickest. By the way, if you’re feeling competitive, the world record is 5 seconds, so good luck with that.

A Goblet sits majestically on the table, often with a bit of decorative ornamentation. The wide opening allows you to get the full flavor profile through generous sips while enjoying the aroma. That makes the goblet perfect for Belgian ales and other heavy, malty beers. Plus Belgians tend to have a bit of yeastiness that heat from your hand can distort quickly. There are even custom versions of goblets for specific breweries such as Orval and Chimay.

A Flute Glass is often the vessel of choice for Belgian lambics. The shape helps prolong and showcase carbonation. It also releases volatiles in the brew quickly to help create an intense aroma right away.

IPA Glass (designed by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada last year) is a 19-ouncer with a bulbous middle and thinner, ribbed base. The ribbing creates greater aeration when you tilt the glass, thus producing a longer-lasting head and better mouthfeel.

Skip the vino and turn your Oversized Wine Glass into the perfect glass for Belgian ales. The openness of the bowl allows for a full appreciation of the drink’s aroma plus there’s room for a healthy head.

A Snifter is good for small pours of high ABV brews. Also, any heavy beer with complexity is a good candidate for a snifter. Scotch ales, Belgian Sours, tripels, imperial stouts all are well-suited for snifters. Cupping the glass with your hand produces a shift in temperature over time, teasing out new flavor notes, plus you can swirl the drink to draw out elements of the hops and malts. Just don’t be pretentious about it. You don’t want to be That Guy.

The German word stange translates to stick so it’s no shock that the Stange Glass is a tallish, slender glass. You’ll most often find them holding a German Kolsch. They also work well for altbiers, bocks and rauchbiers.

Steins (usually with a lid) are all about volume, volume, volume. The handle helps preserve the chill despite your holding it all afternoon. As the primary function is to allow for extended afternoon drinking sessions you should opt for filling them with low ABV beers.

The Tulip Glass was christened “the only beer glass you’ll ever need” by a Los Angeles Times article earlier this year because of its versatility. Still, because the shape helps trap aromas it is ideally suited for something with a big, aromatic flavor profile. Look for beers that have hops added late in the brewing process such as Alesmith’s seasonal Evil Dead Red or Chafunkta’s Voo Ka Ray Imperial IPA.

The Thistle Glass is a modified version of the tulip and is the primary vehicle for Scotch ales. It typically has a longer stem, is a tad taller and has a rounder bowl near the stem.

The Weizen Glass is designed for wheat beers with big heads. Paulaner, for example, can be poured with plenty of room for its thick band of foam.

When it’s less about beer and more about the camaraderie then it’s time to break out the Beer Boot. With a history most often traced back to the German military, the beer boot usually comes in either a 2-liter or 1-liter size. It is possible to get smaller ones but that sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? There are a variety of drinking games that can be played using one or more beer boots ranging from every-drinker-for-himself competitions to team exercises. Considering the vast amounts of beer that a boot holds, it is recommended that you fill it with something light in nature.

Many of the glasses listed here have distinguished pedigrees back to English and German glassmakers. Then there’s the Beer Hat (also known as the beer helmet). Its origins are a bit hazynot surprising considering that it’s a plastic helmet with two cans of beer attached and straws strategically designed to provide rapid and simultaneous consumption of said cans. Some reports attribute the invention to a Joseph Gumbo. But with beer dating back around 6,000 years or so, would you really be surprised if an enterprising ancient Egyptian devised a similar contraption after a long week of pyramid work? The beer helmet can often be found at pro football games, usually in some sturdy, get-it-done city like Pittsburgh or Chicago on a beefy guy who’s had the same stadium seat for years. If you’re going to don a beer helmet, honor that guy and grab a few cans of Rheingold, Yuengling or Steel City. (You could put even more emphasis on volume and don the beer helmet’s Costco-sized cousin the Beer Backpack.

Many of the other vessels listed here have specific purposes such as concentrating the brew’s aroma, enhancing its carbonation or playing up some other aspect of a particular style of beer. The Beer Bong, as many college students will attest, has a detailed mission too, namely to get you drunk as quickly as possible. Seeing how gravity will be forcing the beer down your throat so fast you won’t even really taste it, there’s no one style better than another to use in a beer bong. Just go with the cheapest available and you’ll be fine.