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It makes no sense to me why breweries are against freezing pint glasses. I think that there's nothing better than ice cold beer, and it seems in most ways the breweries agree. They try and cool beer lines, beer in bottles is always served cold, and some beer is bottled with labels that let you know when the beer is cold. So why are they so against freezing pint glasses, particularly when there are some great inventions out there that can freeze pint glasses in seconds? I think they should promote instead of being against it, so why don't they?

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    Welcome to Beer.SE! Actually, not everyone would agree that "Nothing [is] better than [an] ice cold beer." Colder serving temperatures numb your taste buds (check out some questions tagged "temperature"), taking away your ability to taste your beer. This is why American "macros" (e.g. Coors) often advertise their beverages in the context of "enjoying an ice-cold beer"—because you do not want to taste the nuances of those beers at room temperature. Lagers in general are served at cooler temperatures than ales, and – Andrew Cheong Sep 27 '14 at 16:44
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    imperial stouts are even served at room temperature! Of course, I'm not saying "ice-cold beers" can't be pleasurable; indeed the sensation of coolness can be satisfying, especially after a hot summer day. But by serving all beers "ice-cold," not only would beer enthusiasts not be able to experience the finer differences in tastes of beers, but also we'd essentially marginalize the very art behind brewing: Why create unique (however nuanced) brews if no one can taste the difference? – Andrew Cheong Sep 27 '14 at 16:52
  • I have deleted your comment promoting your company's product around this "issue." Please do not attempt to use Beer.SE for advertising / SEO purposes. The next offense will result in a suspension. – Andrew Cheong Sep 27 '14 at 19:32
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    People drinking Coors Light would agree, not those drinking craft beers – Wayne In Yak Sep 30 '14 at 15:14
  • This is a reasonable question. Terms like "room temperature" are a bit meaningless too - "In what season and country?", for example – Kingsley Jul 22 '18 at 23:15
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It depends on the beer style. Craft beers in general were not designed to be served at a near freezing (for water) temperature. Drink an IPA at 35 degrees and 45 degrees and you'll probably find the hop notes more pronounced at the higher temperature.

Here is a general guideline:

Very Cold: 35-40 degrees •American Adjunct Lagers (“Macros”) •Malt Liquors •Light or low alcohol beers

Cold: 40-45 degrees •Pilsner •Light-bodied lagers •Kolsch •Belgian Wit •Hefeweizen •Berliner weisse •American Wheat

Cool: 45-50 degrees •American Pale Ales •Medium-bodied lagers •India Pale Ale (IPA) •Porters •Alt •Irish Stouts •Sweet Stout

Cellar Temp: 50-55 degrees •Sour Ales •Lambic/Gueuze •English Bitter •Strong Ales •Baltic Porters •Bocks •Scotch Ales •Belgian Ales •Trappist Ales

Warm: 55-60 degrees •Imperial Stouts •Belgian Quads •Belgian Strong Ales •Barley Wines •Old Ales •Dopplebock •Eisbock

Serving Beer

  • This is nice. I know it's quite obvious, but I just want to confirm if the temperature indicated is in Fahrenheit. – IBG Jan 29 '15 at 7:58
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    Yes, the temperatures are in Fahrenheit – Wayne In Yak Jan 29 '15 at 14:58
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Freezing pint glasses is like using subwoofers in your Mini. It's too much of a good thing that drowns out the subtlety that is supposed to sell the product over and over.

Just because some beers taste better cold, such as lagers compared to ales, doesn't mean they taste better when they are nearly frozen at +1C. Our perception of flavour diminishes as something is cooled, and so beer tastes less sweet and wines taste more acidic as they get colder.

Breweries know this and they spend significant dollars to invent a beverage that has the maximum taste profile for the least amount of ingredient spend. Bringing that product out of its intended temperature zone and into numbness makes a Coors or Bud have almost no character at all.

I can also imagine that bars are going to be reluctant to cool their pint glasses and spend a lot of money on electricity when it makes the beers taste little better than ordinary ice water. The end result is a disappointing "freezie"-like experience that reduces the likelihood of someone ordering multiples of those over the course of an evening out, which is the ultimate benchmark for most bars.

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You are creating an atmosphere where the liquid inside the glass is warmer than the glass itself = condensation = watered down, affecting the beer no matter what style you drink (Certified Sommelier)

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While "Wayne in Yak" pretty much covers ideal serving temperatures, I would like to add some sensory information.

When you drink or eat very cold foods & beverages, the low temperature inhibits the operation of your taste buds and other olfactory tasting parts of your body.

Here's a quick experiment: taste a room-temperature soda/soft-drink Vs a refrigerated soft drink. The warm version tastes much sweeter. The sweetness of the beverage is calibrated for consumption at a low temperature. It's too sweet drinking it warm.

Sometimes on hot summer days, a cold & frosty beer is great. I wont disagree there. But the point is - if the beverage is too cold, you physically can't taste it very well.

This is why many establishments do not freeze their glasses. Just like steaks, soup and ice-cream, there's a specific temperature range at which the producer thinks the product is best.

In places where the ambient temperature is over 30C / 86F, then it makes sense to cool the glasses. But here the idea here is that when the beverage at temperature-X is combined with a heavy glass at temperature-Y, the final resultant temperature should be in that ideal serving range.

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