Warm or Cold Beer? What Goes?

Beer temperature icons

What type of Craft Beer Drinker are you?

Does refrigeration of beer help to bring out the flavor or dull the taste? What is the perfect temperature for serving your amber nectar? All too often the large drinks manufacturers will design a gimmick to sell more beer. Whether it is a widget in the can in the 80’s or colour changing cans in the 90’s through to slogans that advise the beer must be served ice cold in the 00’s. There has always been a debate that raged that says what temperature you beer should be served at.But do all these tweaks actually help to improve the taste or are they just marketing ploys to improve sales.

Personal Taste

Whether you are a conspiracy theorist or someone that believes everything you hear it has to be said that personal taste counts for a lot. One mans drink is another mans poison. Craft beer falls very much into the realm of chill or not to chill, that is the question. Real ales is often served at room temperature and is somewhat like the marmite effect, you either love it or hate it. Where as a lager that has been sat for a while in a warm environment is more often that not thrown down the sink. But what is the guide to how cold your beer should be.

Perfect Serving Temperature

To experience the best smells and tastes that the brewer has conjured up for you, cask ale must be served at the correct temperature. If the beer is too warm unpleasant smells and aromas will be given off, too cold and the clean, fresh, vibrant tastes will be lost into the void.

craft beer temperature chart

The recommended serving temperature from the majority of brewers is between 11 – 13°C.

Some cask ales are designed to be served at lower temperatures, particularly summer beers. Often these brews have been specially designed to ensure that no chill haze occurs at temperatures where other cask ales might be affected.

Lagers & Keg Products Craft lagers and kegs should ideally be dispensed between 5 – 8°C.

Extra Cold Craft Beers The trend these days is towards colder products and many pubs and bars will be using cooling systems and flash coolers in order to dispense ‘extra cold’ products. These are normally dispensed between 0 – 5°C.

Craft Bottled Beers Craft bottled beers should be served at between 4 – 6°C. But again this is all guidelines and should not stand in the way of the enjoyment of serving the beer at a temperature would find the most enjoyable.

The Seasons get in the way

The seasons can dictate what people like to drink and at what temperature. The Winter months can seem the wrong time to drink an ice cold beer which during the summer can really hit the mark. Where as a Stout or Porter may well be too heavy with a BBQ on a hot summers day. Everyone has an opinion on what temperature wine should be served at. But once a year we through it in a saucepan and heat it up with a mix of herbs and spices and call it mulled wine. If you tried that at a BBQ on a roasting hot day, you stand a good chance of being the only person drinking it.

Enjoy it your way

The truth of it all is that no matter what advice anyone gives you. If you enjoy your beer at a temperture others would raise an eyebrow too, then what does it matter. The most important thing is that you enjoy the beer your way.

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