Japanese Pottery for beer glass

Did you know that ceramic cups are said to make beer taste better than regular mugs and glasses? While many may doubt whether something like a simple cup could really make a difference, in Japan, more and more beer enthusiasts are opting for ceramic cups in favor of the superior taste it imparts! In this article, we’ll take a look at why beer is better in ceramic while introducing our top ceramic beer cups!

Why Does Beer Taste Better in Ceramic?

While many claim beer tastes better in ceramic, how exactly does it differ from other cups? Below are three reasons!

When beer is poured into a ceramic cup, it creates a super creamy head. For beer enthusiasts, taking that first sip of beer with a fine and crisp head is the closest thing to heaven!

① Why Beer Tastes Better in Ceramic
The Head Is Creamier

So, why does the head become creamier? It has to do with the numerous tiny holes found in ceramic surfaces. When beer is poured into a ceramic cup, it mixes with the air that comes through these tiny holes and creates a head as creamy as beer served at a fancy bar.

Conversely, because the beer mixes with air, it may taste a bit flat. Those who like the sharp taste of carbonation may feel as if something is missing. As it all depends on the person, the best thing to do is compare beers in different cups to find a style that suits you.

② Why Beer Tastes Better in Ceramic
The Head Keeps Longer

When relishing a good beer, you’ll naturally want to nurse it to savor its aroma and flavor for as long as possible. The frothy head acts as a lid, preventing changes in the flavor caused by oxidation while stopping the carbon dioxide and aroma from escaping. The fine, springy foam created by the beer mixing with the air from the tiny holes in the ceramic is said to keep for up to five minutes or even more!

③ Why Beer Tastes Better in Ceramic
The Beer Stays Cold Longer

When enjoying a pint of beer with a meal, you want it to stay cold for as long as possible!

Beer served in ceramic is said to stay cold longer than beer served in glass. This is due to the numerous tiny air bubbles that act as insulation and prevent the beer from warming up.

Beer Is Better in Ceramic! 7 Recommended Ceramic Beer Cups!

Next time you feel like treating yourself to an ice cold beer, why not try enjoying it in a ceramic cup?

There are numerous ceramic cups for beer made with great attention to design and functionality. Here are seven highly recommended ones chosen by our editorial team.

Ceramic Beer Vessels #1
Bizen Ware Tumblers With Great, Earthy Textures

Bizen ware is one of Japan's oldest styles of pottery. Mostly made in Inbe Ward in the city of Bizen, Okayama (map), it is fired at high temperatures, unglazed, and without painted decorations. It is a hard ceramic that does not crack easily and is therefore popular for everyday use, appearing as tools like "chaki" (tea ceremony utensils, particularly the caddy for matcha) and "chato" (ceramics used in Japanese tea ceremonies).

Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #1
For Those Who Want an Extra Special Personal Cup!

Naoto Tsuneki: Bizen Ware Beer Tumbler (Small)

This is a Bizen ware tumbler made by the ceramicist, Naoto Tsuneki. It is a truly outstanding example of the exquisite texture and color of Bizen ware. Because it is handmade, each is a unique work of art with a different color and texture. Despite being simple, it grows on you with each use as it becomes your very own, special cup.

Its relatively small size is all the more charming, making it perfect to purchase as a set to enjoy beer with friends!

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Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #2
For Those Who Want to Enjoy Foam!

Naoto Tsuneki: Bizen Ware Beer Tumbler (Straight)

This is another Bizen ware beer tumbler by the ceramicist, Naoto Tsuneki. Because each piece is unique, this item has a special appeal completely different from the above product.

With its upright, stylish design, it’ll fit perfectly in your hand while creating a luscious foam when used for beer.

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Ceramic Beer Vessels #2
Seto-Yaki Beer Cups with Beautiful Glazing and Decorations

Like Bizen and Shigaraki, Seto-Yaki is one of Japan's most famous ancient styles of pottery. It is produced primarily in Seto City in Aichi Prefecture (map), one of Japan's leading areas for pottery that has been producing ceramics for more than 1,000 years. That the word "setomono" (Seto items) is commonly used to refer to Japanese ceramics as a whole is testament to the importance that it has. Seto ware is characterized by the use of high-quality potter's clay fired into white pottery and decorated beautifully with glazing and paintings. A wide variety of Seto ware continues to be produced today.

Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #3
Relish Dinner and Drinks With a Special Someone!

Utsuwa Roan Seto Ware Pair of Oribe and Kiseto Cups

This is a set of Seto ware cups with two types of glaze that are commonly used in Seto ware: Oribe (photo left) and Kiseto (photo right). Each cup embodies the special characteristics of the glazes and is the perfect accompaniment to an evening of deep conversation with someone special.

The cups have simple, contemporary designs and will go well with any dining table. They are also just the right size and comfortable to handle, so they can be used for a variety of purposes.

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Ceramic Beer Vessels #3
Kiyomizu Ware Beer Mugs to Enjoy the Individuality of the Craftsperson

Kiyomizu ware is one of Kyoto’s most famous traditional crafts. While most styles of ceramics are developed on the basis of the production methods and techniques suited to the local clay, Kiyomizu ware is made with materials shipped from all around the country and has no specific technique or design. However, each piece of Kiyomizu ware is made by hand by an artisan who puts their heart and soul into it, making Kiyomizu ware famous for the sheer variety of unique items reflecting the individuality of the maker.

Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #4
Elegant Kiyomizu Ware Cups With a Stylish Design

Dainichi Kyo-Kiyomizu Ware Hibiki Glazed Free Cup

This is a Kiyomizu ware cup by Dainichi, a pottery brand established in 1980 that's known for the use of original glazes made with the ash of plants like cedar, grapes, and sunflowers. Beer served in this cup, which brims with the creativity and dedication of the maker, is sure to become something extraordinary!

With a sharp, streamlined form, this cup suits anyone regardless of age and gender and is perfect to have as a pair with a partner.

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Ceramic Beer Vessels #4
Warm and Simple Shigaraki Ware Beer Cups

Shigaraki ware is a style of ceramic produced primarily in Shigaraki in Koka City, Shiga Prefecture (map). It is famous for tanuki (raccoon dog) figures and, like Bizen ware and Seto ware, has a long history. There are records from the Middle Ages (12th-16th centuries) through to the early modern period (17th-19th centuries) indicating that Shigaraki ware was used in tea ceremonies.

Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #5
A Beer Cup with Dazzling Color Gradation

Yamasho Pottery Shigaraki Jewel Cup Lapis Lazuli​

This is the Lapis Lazuli tumbler in the Shigaraki Jewel Cup series by the Shigaraki ware wholesaler, Yamasho Pottery, which was established 80 years ago and ships Shigaraki ware all across Japan. It boasts stunning color gradation and mesmerizing crazing.

This would be an irresistible purchase for those who adore lapis lazuli. However, lapis lazuli is a color that many have strong opinions about, so if you are planning to get this as a gift, make sure it’s in a color they like!

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Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #6
A Stylish Yet Rustic Modern Japanese Cup

Yamasho Pottery Shigaraki Ware Convenient Cup

This Shigaraki ware cup is made in a modern Japanese style, blending seamlessly with Japan's izakaya (Japanese pub) aesthetic. Being unglazed on the inside, it yields soft, fluffy foam when beer is poured inside.

Along with beer, it is also designed for shochu and sake. It even has a 6:4 line to use when mixing shochu with water*.

*In Japan, it is common to dilute shochu, which has a high alcohol content, with hot or cold water. The recommended ratio is 60% shochu to 40% water. This reduces the alcohol content of shochu from 20%-25% to roughly 15%, which is about the same as sake and wine, making it easier to drink.

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Ceramic Beer Vessels #5
Smooth and Warm Tokoname Ware Beer Cups

Tokoname ware are produced on the Chita Peninsula in Aichi Prefecture, particularly in Tokoname City and surrounding areas. Like Shigaraki and other ceramics introduced here, it is one of Japan's oldest styles of ceramics. In the world of ceramics, metal mixed into potting clay is commonly considered to be a problem, causing blackening and expansion when fired. However, Tokoname ware has taken advantage of these characteristics by using them to produce an attractive and uniformed reddish-brown style of pottery.

Ceramic Beer Cup Recommendation #7
An Adorable Retro-Style Cup With a Traditional Checkered Pattern

Tokoname Ware Beer Cup 220cc tokonaM1951

This is a Tokoname ware cup featuring a traditional Japanese checkered pattern called "ichimatsu," which is black and green and gives it a cute, retro feel.

There has recently been renewed interest in ichimatsu, popularized as the pattern on a haori coat worn by a recently famous anime character. With this cup, you can enjoy both beer bursting with foam and a fantastic pattern that is actually quite rare in ceramics.

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Up Your Beer Game With Traditional Japanese Ceramics!

Without a doubt, beer from a ceramic cup definitely tastes and feels different from beer in a glass. While some may like their beer sharp and bubbly and don't use ceramic cups, there are many who swear by them and won’t drink beer with anything else. Give it a try and see if you can find one that suits you!

Related articles:

▶ Japanese Pottery, Porcelain, and Lacquerware: What’s the Difference and How to Take Care of Them?

▶ 15 Japanese Glassware That Embody Top-Notch Craftsmanship

▶ Ochoko and Guinomi Sake Cups: What’s the Difference? Why Use Them?

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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer's website for more information.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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