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Warm Beer and the myth of the “Cold One”

Whoever denies that at some point he/she wanted a “Cold One” is lying. Everyone at some point during the hot summer, after a day by the sea or after working under the sun has ordered one. The result is that we are given beers and glasses reaching 0 Kelvin temperatures. We enjoy the chill, the good company and the good view and this instills in our mind the “cold one” with nice feelings.

Let us see what happens when we chill any object with an example. Imagine you have just finished cooking your favorite food, you can smell it all around the house. Now take your favorite food out of the fridge, you smell nothing. From a very simplified physics point of view, when an object is warm, the air surrounding it starts moving quicker and takes the molecules that carry the aromas around the house. Let us go back now to the original topic, why would someone not want to smell his/her beer? This is a marketing trick from the companies who produce lagers in huge quantities without having good standards for the materials used, hiding that way the lack of aromas and most likely bland taste.

On the other hand we have microbreweries choosing carefully the materials used because they aim at a product with higher quality and full of aromas and different tastes. In this case we would want higher serving temperature.

“So Embeeror, what is the ideal serving temperature of beer?”

For me? Warm, 10 to 12 °C. In general? Every style of beer has different serving temperature and many microbreweries write on their label the suggested serving temperature for their product. The general rule of thumb in this case is the higher the alcohol volume in a beer the higher the serving temperature.

Serving temperatures according to beer style:

Lagers/Pale Lagers/Pilsners: 4 to 7 °C

Vienna Style Lagers/Amber Lagers: 8 to 10 °C 

Pale Ales: 9 to 12 °C 

Stouts/Porters: 8 to 10 °C 

Wheat/Weiss: 6 to 8 °C 

Belgian Dubbel/Tippel/Quad: 10°C and above

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