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elbanditoroso's avatar

Warm beer or cold beer?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22422points) September 2nd, 2014

Labor Day conversation

In the US, beer is generally served pretty darned cold – “Ice Cold Beer” is typical advertising and then term “warm beer” is colloquially used to mean “meh” or “blah” or barely adequate.

Our mother country – Great Britain – and most of Europe, serves beer that is not as cold. Not warm, of course, but just barely chilled. Definitely not the cold serving that we have in the Colonies.

Why the difference?

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9 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Depends where you go to drink your beer. Most brew pubs and breweries I frequent serve at about 40 to 45 * F. The will not serve in a frosty mug either. Stay out of bars that serve there beer in frosty mugs just out of the freezer, health reasons and taste too!

hominid's avatar

I would imagine the reason U.S. beer advertising (and in practice) is so focused on cold is that domestic beer is pretty awful stuff. It’s easier to get the stuff down if you are able to numb your mouth with the cold.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We need Sir Michael Jackson on this question. And not the deceased music dude.

rojo's avatar

Tradition? Personal preference? Overall hotter temperatures?

Also, most US beers manufactured by the large brewing companies are lagers and as such are cold fermented, cold stored and meant to be served at a cooler temperature..

Stinley's avatar

Beer is cool but lager is chilled in the UK and Europe. They taste better that way. A bit like red and white wine.

Haleth's avatar

Big US beers are mostly adjunct lagers, where cheap grains like corn are a main ingredient. This makes them lightweight and low flavor. For something like that, refreshment (and familiarity) are the main selling points.

Heavier-weight beers with bigger flavors actually taste better slightly cool. (Imagine the difference between a light dry white wine, and a big heavy red wine.) Serving a beverage very cold emphasizes its “crisp” qualities, making it taste more fresh and acidic. If a drink is very very cold, that makes it harder to taste its flavors. Drink the same thing closer to room temp, and it tastes “softer,” but you can detect more of the flavors. Heavy, flavorful beers benefit more from that.

rojo's avatar

My understanding was that most of the beers served in Europe, at least those on tap, are not warm per se but room temperature. And the temperature has to do with where the beer is actually stored. It will be cooler coming from a basement environment than from just behind the wall of the pub.

johnpowell's avatar

I’m drinking a warm PBR right now. But that is mostly due to having fucked up teeth.

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