Beer Fact Friday: The Stange Glass
We’ve discussed the beer style known as kölsch in a previous Beer Fact Friday—it’s the light, golden-hued German ale born in Cologne, Germany. If you’re an avid reader of these little posts, you may remember that in 1986 the brewers of Cologne ratified a set of qualities that defines a “true” kölsch, and that among those was that the beer must be brewed within Cologne’s city limits.
But the brewers didn’t stop there. They also drew up rules for how kölsch has to be served: Inside a glass known as a Stange. “Stange” is a German word that means “rod”—an appropriate moniker since the Stange is tall, straight, and narrow, more like a graduated cylinder you’d find in a laboratory than a glass you’d find at a bar. By American standards, it’s also pretty small for a beer glass—just 0.2 liters, or just above 6 ounces.
With each serving lasting just a few sips, bar patrons must order constantly to keep fresh beer on the tables. To avoid having servers constantly return to the bar for refills, those crafty Germans innovated a solution: A circular rack called a “kranz” (German for “wreath”). Each kranz features slots to fit several stangen at once, allowing servers to minimize their back-and-forth while satisfying customers’ kölsch cravings.