A glass with a wide body will hold more beer. This makes it good for session beers, which are (hopefully) cheaper and lighter inside the belly. A person holding a big beer glass also feels masterful.
Present beer color and rising carbonation
Temperature - keeps beer colder
Temperature - Limits heat transfer from hands
When the body of a beer glass slopes out, it's easier to hold. It is helpful, especially when condensation makes the outside of the glass slippery. An outward slope also gives the beer a gradient of color. The color is lighter at the bottom, where the diameter is smaller, and darker at the top, where the diameter is larger. An outward slope increases head retention, because it supports the foam from underneath.
Handles are easy to hold, especially when a person is wearing gloves. They eliminate heat transfer between a warm hand and cold beer, so beer stays cold and fingers stay warm. They're also easier to toast/cheers with, because fingers are out of the way.
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