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Cold is not always better

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013

Temperature.. the devil is in the range!

Sometimes when someone says “Pass me a cold one!” it may actually ruin the taste of the product.

The science beyond the temperature has a lot to do with taste buds, if we serve you beer real cold, you will not be able to taste the product, because your tongue is overwhelmed by the temperature change the nerves and sense that do that work can not function in a proper manner.

The ranges of temperature go from “very cold” around freezing (32F/0C) to “room temperature” (60F/15.6C). We will group each of these ranges and explain which ales are good at these temperatures, I would like to point out, this is how they are stored..not what temperature it should be when you consume them.

  • Very Cold (0-5C/32-40F) – Also known as the, what the big boys want you to drink at, temperature range. Here are some types: Pale Lager, Malt Liquor, Cream Ale.
  • Cool (8C-12C/46F-55F) – Now this warmer temperature will start opening up the flavors, as the mouth is not overloaded with temperature overload. The ale categories in this category are: American Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Tripel.
  • Cellar (12-14C/55-58F) –  Think of what a wine cellar is usually at and how the natural coolness of the room and ambient area will aid in keeping the tastes going. This range of temperature start show casing all of the awesome flavors and complexity of the ale. Some of the categories in this temperature range are: Bitter, English Strong Ale, India Pale Ale.
  • Warm (14-16C/57-61F) – This is starting to get to the crazy side of things, most people are like really? This warm, but trust me there are a few in this category that are great! The category is divided into these groups: Barley Wine, Imperial/Double IPA, Imperial Stout.


I hope you find this useful and as always enjoy your hobby and spend it with friends. If there is anything in particular about craft beers, you the reader, would like, post it in the comments and we can put it into the rotation.


The research and material to support this blog entry have been brought to you by the people at  Wikipedia and the fine people at Beeradvocate.com


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A person who enjoys the culture of craft ales and the hand made cigar industry with a deep appreciation. My desire and respect help spread this love while building a network to help learn and educate all participating in the community. I enjoy this journey and hope all who read my material find this same appreciation.

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  1. Great read Chris.

  2. Great info! Thank you sir!

  3. Nice read Chris..I’ve been trying to sing the praises of a room temp to warm beer for years..Just like when I cook..it’s ALL about flavor ,and on my palette a warm beer of the right kind really explodes with taste and flavor..

  4. Chris, continuing our convo about the brown ale I had; it was at the “cold” temp. About 43-44. I don’t think temp or glassware would make a difference. I just think it’s a subpar ale.

  5. Great read!

  6. Usually the colder the liquid the less taste notes your palate will pickup. That’s why people who drink bad beer or liquor want it served ice cold!!

  7. Great insight Chris! I can see our Canadian Sasquatch in Bermuda’s chasing Stout in G’s Living Room rather than stalking Kokanee in the Rockies!

  8. My fiancé’s father owns a brewery and sometimes people complain that their beer isn’t cold enough and they have to explain this. Same with different glass shapes. People always want the big tall one (every glass there is 16oz, just different shapes). And the amount of head that is served. It opens up the beer and allows it to breath and release flavors and aromas similar to decanting wine.

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