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From tin tankards to Smooth Pour Glasses: How the pint glass has evolved over the years

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From 10-sided glasses to Noniks and now Cobra’s new Smooth Pour Glass – the humble pint glass has certainly come a long way over the decades. Whilst most glassware innovations have been triggered by changes in the brewing industry and shifts in drinking habits, some have been created purely to give publicans the tools they require to deliver the perfect serve and give outlets a real point of difference at the bar.

Before we take a look at more recent innovations, let’s take a look at the journey of the pint glass over the years:

Pewter tankards

Traditionally beer was drunk from pewter tankards, a metal vessel in the shape of a mug. However, these began dying out in the early 20th century as newly enlightened drinkers took more of an interest in the clarity of their pint

The 10-sided glass

  • Around 1928 the 10-sided or “fluted” handled glass pint mug surfaced – the first mass-produced beer glass and the pint glass often regarded as the best glass to drink English ale from!

The dimpled mug

  • The dimpled mug arrived in the 1940s but went into decline because drinkers preferred a lighter, straighter glass. In recent years we’ve seen the dimpled glass experience somewhat of a renaissance given the revival of craft beer


  • Straight or ‘Conical’ pint glasses gained popularity from the beginning of the 20th century, but an alternative was sought out when publicans realised their rims easily chipped when they touched


  • The word Nonik actually derives from ‘no nick’ and was created in response to the problems associated with Conical glasses. This glassware has a bulge near the top to solve the problem of their propensity to chip near the rim when being washed together

So what’s next for glassware? With competition in bars and pubs becoming even more fierce, drinks brands have an opportunity to respond to increasingly discerning consumers with innovative pouring and glassware solutions. In an industry first, Cobra has introduced the ‘Smooth Pour Glass’; a new line of glassware made with cutting edge technology. The one-of-a-kind glassware was created following years of scientific research and features a unique smooth pour funnel that allows the liquid to flow smoothly around the glass to the base. Supported by a font carrying a distinctive angled tap to aid the pour, the result is an optimal head formation. The revolutionary new pouring technique is set to revolutionise the way beer is served and will ensure drinkers enjoy a perfect pint of Cobra, every time.

Cobra Smooth Pour Glass is available now in selected on-trade outlets across the UK. For more information, please visit:

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