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At what point do you drink your beer room temperature?

I assume that all you serious beer drinkers prefer room temperature over refrigerated particularly in the context of a Central European climate.

I've been enjoying my leftover beer from the Cinco de Mayo party a threw the other day.... a few days ago I had a Dos Equis Amber cold... it was good, but today I had it room temperature... so much better. Of course a few days ago it was 90+ here in wine country... today it was 70 degrees... and if I were in Mexico with 90+ degree and a very strong sun... I would definitely have my beer cold... even if it were a heavy Ale or Stout.

So at what point do you guys go to room temperature? For me its typically about 65 degrees weather.

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  1. Never....sorry...drink Guiness at 50-55 degrees....Bud...just above freezing..

    7 Replies
    1. re: nyfoodjoe

      Agreed. For what it's worth, aside from the pre-refrigeration days (see: Middle Ages), I think it's pretty much a myth that beer is consumed at "room temp" which would be around say 70 to 75 F. Cellar temperature which can be defined as the temp nyfoodie mentioned is about as warm as it should ever be, IMO. So to sum up my thoughts: Never.

      1. re: HaagenDazs

        A very good point HaagenDazs. "Room temperature" used to be quite a bit cooler than it is today. This affects wine, as well as beer, as well as, say, butter for baking...etc etc etc. Room temperature used to be cooler before more efficient heating sources were developed. I think part of the problem is that for things like beer and wine, when someone says "room temperature" that actually mean, something on the order of maybe 10 degrees lower than room temperature is today.

        I'd only drink a nitrogen pressurized beer at "room temperature" but that would still have to be in the low 60s, not the low to mid 70s that you'd find in many rooms.

        Otherwise....never.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          The Term room temp comes from medieval Europe castles who also happen to be suffering from a mini ice age at the time so it started out at 55 to 60 and cellar temp were equivalent to very cold frig to freezing as some castles had ice rooms where they stored winter ice into summer later it moved to merchants that did that and even moved to America until early refrigeration came but it was ammonia based and dangerous so people still had ice box refrigerators for a long time

        2. re: nyfoodjoe

          I love beer.
          Bud Is not beer..It is piss

            1. re: worldwarz

              Every beer I have ever drank I prefer to drink it just after sunrise as soon as the temp increases from night, and the beer stays outside unless the glass bottles will be damaged by freezes, if freezing temps the beer lives on the window seal. (Always glass bottles) A good beer drinking for me is like reading yesterdays night time weather report under the sun.

              1. re: worldwarz

                42.8°-44.6° works well enough for the version of Guinness served on draught, since that is a really a much toned down version of the original product.

                The two bottled versions of Guinness (Extra Stout and Foreign Extra Stout) are altogether different products than the draught version.
                Of course it ultimately boils down to personal preference, but serving them too cold really diminishes them. Many beer afficianados say that the bottled versions taste much better at around 55°-60°F. I tend to agree.

            2. Belgian ales and barleywines are good at room temp, but when people in America say the English drink "warm" beer, that's because they mistakenly think beer should be in the 40s. A good serving temperature for quality beer is in the mid-to-upper 50s.

              1. Usually only after I "fall asleep" in the middle of drinking a beer. When I wake up -- "hey, I still have beer left". ;-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: LStaff

                  exactly right, if the beer is good, you can enjoy it even if you've forgotten about it for a couple hours, or even the next morning. Generally, though, cellar temperature is best, not room temperature

                2. As far as what temperature beer should be, the temperature at which you think it tastes good is right. I don't think one should rigidly adhere to the ideas of others, but by all means try various temps. Don't take cold or hot as right.

                  My preference depends on the beer and depends on the environment. The warmer the weather, the colder I'd like the beer. By the time is hits 80, I want beer colder thn 40. When it is 40 outside, beer about 50 is fine. I don't think I want to drink beer about 60.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Captain

                    While it's certainly true that people should drink it at whatever temperature they like, you cannot escape the fact that cold temperatures suppress flavor. If someone, like Mr. swsidejim below, only drinks their beer at ice-cold temperature, then they are simply not going to experience the full range of flavors in that beer. That's not a matter of opinion, that is a fact.

                    One of my pet peeves is restaurants that bring chilled glasses with bottled beer. Sorry, I'm not drinking swill, I'd like to taste it please.

                    1. re: Josh

                      I am curious as to why some of the best brew pubs in the country that I have gone to are not serving beer at room temperature.

                      I have been to England as well, and would not drink their room temperature beer over there. I switched to chilled hard cider for the 2 weeks I was there.

                      But then again I dont drink anything that is not served cold, I wont drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc.

                      1. re: swsidejim

                        The answer to your first question is that, quite simply, most of their clientele share your expectation that beer be served ice cold. A place that is in business to make money isn't going to risk losing customers over something like that.

                        People who like to taste their beer know that they need to let the beer sit for a few minutes to warm up, and also to ask for a non-chilled glass. The only time I've ever had beer served at the correct temperature was either when it was on cask, or at a couple of restaurants that kept it in the same fridge as the wine.

                  2. never, the colder the better.

                    1. I witnessed a coworker at a bar order a bottle of Coors Lite. So the bartender pulls one from the refrigerator places it on the bar. She then asked the bartender for a pint glass filled with ice (I mean to the brim). She proceeds to then pour the "fresh out of the ice box" bottle of Coors Lite over the ice into the pint glass. I over hear her saying to someone "I don't know this is just how I like it".
                      To me this is the other extreme; this person does not want to taste ANYTHING. For me the temperature should be warm enough to more fully appreciate the beverage yet cold enough to still be refreshing.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Chinon00

                        If I were drinking Coors Lite I wouldn't want to taste it either...

                        Something to that assinine "Coldest Tasting Beer" ad campaign.

                        1. re: dude

                          That's what I was thinking. Once in awhile I am at someone's house and am served a Coors or something along those lines. I drink that sucker as quickly as possible before it warms up to a temperature where I can actually taste it - LOL.

                          1. re: dude

                            Amazing how Coors turned "cold" into a flavor, isn't it?

                            1. re: Josh

                              Did you hear about Coors new color-changing lable? Apparently it turns from white to blue when it's cold enough. Ridiculous!

                              1. re: mojoeater

                                Ya but, here's a perfect case-in-point (Coors) where shrinkage, as in taste buds, would be a good thing! :-))

                                1. re: Harp00n

                                  I have no problem drinking cheap, ultra cold beer when I'm on the river or at the beach and it's hot as hell.

                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    That's fair enough ,but given the settings and circumstances just about any ice-cold fizzy should fit the bill. Why waste the money on a marketing driven "Name Brand"?

                                    1. re: Harp00n

                                      True. I actually prefer PBR! And it's very cheap.

                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                        Ahhh, Old School.......been there, done that many,many times, LOL!

                                      2. re: Harp00n

                                        I agree whole-heartedly. I don't desire alcohol when really thirsty. I prefer water or a mix of water and apple or cranberry juice. Macro-lager are for those who hate the taste of beer period and/or for those who only want a buzz (cheaply). No one in history has ever lingered over and savoured the flavor of a macro-lager (which is the only reason to drink alcohol IMHO).

                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                          Don't get me wrong. I love good, hearty ales and stouts. But when it's really hot and I'm outside mowing the lawn or fishing or tubing, I want something really cold. I might have a water for every two or three cheapo beers :)

                          2. I don't drink beer, but my SO does. He almost never chills it. I asked him why, assuming the answer would have to do with taste, and he said cold beer makes him cold! So I think you're right that climate has a lot to do with it. Who wants icy beer in the fog?

                            1. When I want a beer and there are none refrigerated.

                              1. I agree with Josh again here, beer should be a bit warmer to truly taste it. I usually take the bottle out of the fridge about 15 minutes before i drink it. Obviously the temp is different for each style, lagers should be colder than ales in general. Barley wines, strong belgians and some stouts i like int he upper 50's

                                1. I wonder how many in the Cold Only Camp ever tried room temperature (and yes I meant beer that is in low 60ish range...) and if so why they didn't like it. To me it seems to be the superior method... mainly for reasons cited by others... you taste more of the beer... and I only drink refrigerated / chilled beer as an exception.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                    Right now most of my house is in the 80s (the basement is in the 70s). I don't want beer that warm. I do, however, prefer good microbrews of any ilk at a warmer temp than cheaper mass-produced beers. If the beer is made well, I want to taste it. My local brewery keeps their beers at the proper temps (it ranges depending on the beer) and I appreciate every sip. They get numerous complaints for their beer not being cold enough. Of course, those are the same people who complain that they don't have Bud as an option.

                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                      I tried warm beer (and I sampled various types, ale, stout, etc) in England and didn't like it. I've tried warm American beers and didn't like them either. The taste was too strong for the English varieties, and just wrong for the American. I do like the taste of a cold beer, closer to ice the better.

                                      1. re: hannaone

                                        I don't believe that I'm falling for this again but if you could, could you please specify what in particular is being enhanced in the beer (in your opinion) that gives you more and more pleasure as its temperature reaches closer and closer freezing?

                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                          At warmer temps the flavor is overwhelming to me - that goes for just about anything I drink. About the only time I drink beer is with spicy foods so maybe that has something to do with it. Ice cold beer seems to up the flavors of the food.

                                          Edit: With the warm beer I am left with an aftertaste that, to me, doesn't really agree with food.

                                          1. re: hannaone

                                            With the addition of the food component I can accept your rationale. Using beer for "putting out the fire" is effective and if you wanna use it simply as a thirst quencher that's cool too. But from a "Chow" point of view I think that bringing out the flavor is precisely what we'd be after. Maybe it's that you really don't like the taste of beer that much?
                                            For S&G what beers have you found "overwhelming" at warmer temps?

                                            Thanks!

                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                              All of the English beers that I tried while in england had a much stronger taste than American beers. Name brands - Heinekin, Budweiser, Miller.

                                              American beers, with one exception, leave a very (to me) bitter aftertaste.
                                              The one exception was a micro brew that was actually sweet, kind of a honey flavor.
                                              Now that I think more about it, when I was younger I never noticed this aftertaste problem. I used to really enjoy a California beer called cascade, and I liked Coors before they went national.

                                              1. re: hannaone

                                                I absolutely agree that Heinekin, Bud and Miller are best ice cold. At room temp they are really bad. If you liked that one microbrew, maybe you should venture furthur into that realm. There are lots of American ales and lagers that you might like and you won't have to freeze them to drink them.

                                                1. re: mojoeater

                                                  If Hannaone didn't care for the flavor of all the beer he/she sampled in England I can only conclude that he/she simply doesn't like beer. I think that we can get a consensus that beer in England is world class and with the best easy to find. Also, of what I consider the 3 great beer regions: British Isles, Belgium, and Czech-German, beer from the British Isle is to me the most approachable; more malt driven with lower hoppiness.
                                                  So if John Bull's beer can't win you over then nothing will IMHO.

                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                    someday people will realize that they cant win with this Chinon00 person, no matter what you say he/she/it has the last word...so anyways...Budweiser is actually a Czech beer back to its roots so lets let him "Chimeon" that one.

                                                    1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                      Chinon happens to be right, though. American Budweiser is named after a Czech beer, true, but that doesn't make the Anheuser-Busch version a Czech beer. That's like saying Taco Bell is authentic Mexican food because they serve tacos.

                                                      1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                        I’m just perplexed that someone would want the flavor of a beverage (or anything for that matter) that he/she claims to enjoy subdued or restrained (via chilling beer in this case, significantly below its suggested serving temperature). This being “overwhelmed” with flavor business and/or wishing to “restrain it” to me is only understandable when considering spicy foods (due to our personal thresholds for pain) or if a dish’s seasoning isn’t balanced (e.g. too much salt). But to say that, at proper serving temperature you find the flavor of “beer” (and a wide variety of beer apparently) overwhelming, suggests to me that beer just isn’t your thing. Is this an unreasonable conclusion?

                                                        PS - I figured I let someone else correct you on your Bud point.

                                      2. room temp for me is usually in the mid to high 70s, and i don't see myself enjoying any beer at that temp.

                                        but a watery lager is going to be much, much better at a cooler temp than a rich malty ale. we all know that the flavors are more pronounced at a higher temp - but who wants to taste more MGD or PBR? make those COLD!!!!

                                        LOL

                                        although i've never actually measured the temp of my beers like some folks who've posted in this thread must have done: "i like mine in the 50s" "i like mine in the 60s" ;0)

                                        @ 20 years ago, back when i used to still try to drink wine every once and a while - i made a lovely dinner of chicken country captain. really good! (and i didn't cook much back then, so i was very proud of myself)

                                        but i'd put the bottle of red wine in the fridge.

                                        it was pretty funny. now that i think of it, reminds me of that duchesse ale i had not too long ago ;0)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hitachino

                                          Heh, I don't think people are measuring the temps. But once you've had stuff that's at certain ranges, you can kind of estimate.

                                        2. Actual room temperature? Never, only because that temperature only drops below 70 after lights out. I do enjoy a good ale when it's warmer and not so carbonated. And that's why the big brewers advertise their beers being good so cold and so carbonated...you don't taste anything!
                                          Give me a good, satisfying ale at 55 degrees and I'm happy. Give me a Bud Light at 55 degrees and I'll give it back. Really good beer requires less carbonation and less cooling because its flavor doesn't need to be masked by these two techniques...IMO.

                                          1. I put my beer in the freezer for 20-25 minutes before drinking. The colder the better.

                                            34 Replies
                                            1. re: chigirl71

                                              If you drank good beer you wouldn't need to do that.

                                                1. re: HeBrew

                                                  My favorite is a hefen veizen (sorry for spelling) very good.

                                                  1. re: Amanda please

                                                    Amanda, I believe you are referring to a Hefe Weizen (as we know it in America). A fine beer it is...

                                                    1. re: Amanda please

                                                      The correct spelling is Hefeweizen meaning wheat beer, mostly of German decent is better in my opinion served just a little above room temp or about 50 to 60 degrees, any yes I do know alot about them. My wife is from Munich and I tried many a good beer there while I visited. A few that I would suggest are Franziskaner, Ayinger, Erdinger, Julius Echter and anything else that is Brewed in Bavaria by the Laws of Purity.

                                                      1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                        This whole thread has got me wondering what is officially considered "Room Temperature." From what you just said, 50 is above room temp? Right now, this room is 76 degreees and comfortable.

                                                        1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                          "hefe" is yeast, and "weizen" is wheat. So technically the name translates as "yeastwheat".

                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                            yeast fermented wheat beer is what it translates to, in most languages it is spoken backwards, man do I hate technical. And for mojo, my apologies I mean a little below room temp

                                                            1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                              OK. I had to look it up. Apparently "Room Temperature" is an indoor temperature of from 68 to 77°F (20 to 25°C). And fridge temp should be between 32°F (0°C) and 41°F (5°C). I drink cheap beers at fridge temp, and better beers about 10-15 degrees cooler than room temp.

                                                    2. re: Josh

                                                      In reply to Josh and HeBrew, I do drink what I consider to be good beer. Stella Artois and currently Bell's Brewery Oberon Ale are curently gracing the shelves of me refrigerator, soon to be spending a chilly 20 minutes in my freezer before I enjoy them.

                                                      Please do not presume I am drinking Coors Light simply becasue I prefer my beer icy cold boys.

                                                      1. re: chigirl71

                                                        I guess we got a little confused with your original statement "the colder the better" since taking a beverage closer and closer to its freezing point diminishes the flavor.

                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                          i guess you are getting confused that some people have different preferences than you. is it true that coldness numbs the palate? yes. is it true the some people love their beer as cold as possible? yes. is it true that some of these cold beer drinkers drink beer because the enjoy the taste of it? yes. do you let your ice cream come to room temperature before you eat it?

                                                          1. re: charles_sills

                                                            These people love what they are not tasting. Stella and Oberon are already easy to drink low hop beers so to ice them down as low as possible makes them even easier to drink; and thus to get your buzz on. If that's a person's preference fine but in my opinion you don't depress and further depress the flavor of something you claim to enjoy.

                                                            1. re: charles_sills

                                                              Ice cream is usually left out to warm up a bit before being served for the same reason beer isn't meant to be consumed ice cold. Cold diminishes flavor perception.

                                                              Many beers don't come alive until they've warmed up to the 50 degree or warmer range. Compare Chimay at room temp to right out of the refrigerator and you'll see this for yourself.

                                                        2. re: Josh

                                                          OR.......... she just prefers cold beer.

                                                          1. re: charles_sills

                                                            If cold diminishes flavor, which it does, and if someone likes their beer as cold as possible, then it's logical to conclude that someone doesn't like the flavor of beer.

                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                              One could reach a different conclusion.

                                                              A person might be drinking for different reasons, such as refreshment, to the exclusion of tasting it, so the person just doesn't care about the flavor.

                                                              Incidentally, I've seen professional brewers drink straight from the bottle, which is similar, as regards flavor, to drinking beer ice cold.

                                                              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                I also know people who DO enjoy the taste of certain beers when they are subdued. The designed taste is too much for them so they find ways to dial it down some either through oxidation of some of the hops, actually watering down the beer (I know...) or (as in this case) restricting the activity of the essential oils by keeping them cold. So essentially these people are controlling the level of flavor to their palate to fit what they are comfortable with. I guess this is better than not liking the flavor of beer at all. Cant really fault them even if we think they are missing out on a lot. That cold Chimay still gives them something. Maybe its up to us to find something that works for them rather then criticize them for drinking it cold. Theres enough good beer out there in every range that knowledgeable folks could offer some ideas. Whats the equivalent of a cold Chimay...

                                                                1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                  But why water down a Chimay when there are so many other beers available that are already watered down? And in my experience those who prefer ice cold beer wouldn't know Chimay from a can a spray paint.

                                                                  Edit: I didn't read your comment about attempting to find an equivalent of a cold Chimay. But I do stand by my statement that those in pursuit of ice cold beer wouldn't know or care about a Chimay.

                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                    Agreed that there are the ice cold Coors Light crowd which is a completely different animal from the cold Chimay "subdued" taste crowd. The chasm is clearly too wide for the former but the latter may be able to make that leap over time if they find the right beers and broaden their tastes some. That being said sometimes even I feel like an ice cold "simple" lager. When that particular craving hits it sure hits the spot. Doesnt mean I dont crave a juicy resinous hop monster on occasion or a boozy malt heavy barley wine on a winters eve. I guess what Im saying is truly appreciating beer is not mutually exclusive from drinking the occasional cold one.

                                                                    1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                      For me it really depends on the circumstance. If I have just come off the golf course after playing 18 in 90 degree weather, I want an ice cold Budweiser. On the other hand, if it is Christmas eve and I am sitting by the fire with my wife, I will gladly take a snifter of Old Rasputin at 50 degrees.

                                                                      1. re: jpc8015

                                                                        I expect there are many people like you. I drink craft almost exclusively, but I am in the minority.

                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                          Why not have water first then later a beer that you really can savor?

                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                            There is a certain kind of thirst that can only be quenched by beer.

                                                          2. re: chigirl71

                                                            I have an office mate whom I've shared company with after work. I noticed her once order a Coors Lite (from the bar frig) on the rocks ("the colder the better" I guess). But to me this is clear evidence of a person who simply hates the taste of beer (and is merely in search of a buzz [and as cheaply and as tastelessly as possible]).

                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                              Yeah, I've seen a guy do the same with Bud.

                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                What is the problem with me liking my beer ice cold? Yes, to me the colder the better. If you want to stick your beer in the microwave to bring out its true character and enhance its subtleties and all that crap go ahead. Just leave me alone while I enjoy my frosty beer (which I can taste just fine) and catch a buzz.

                                                                1. re: chigirl71

                                                                  I agree. If your goal is to get wasted, then the colder the better. It is definitely much easier to chug your brewskis when they are cold.

                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                    cold or warm Ginger Ale is tricky to chug down

                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                      "It is definitely much easier to chug your brewskis when they are cold."

                                                                      I would disagree. The most easy to slug down beer IMO is cask conditioned. I'm not saying that you should, just that it goes down so easily. Icy cold and full of carbonation is hard on the throat.

                                                                    2. re: chigirl71

                                                                      There is no problem with you liking your beer ice cold. However when so many people who love and value beer say it is easier to taste it when it warms up a little bit, that should give you food for thought. By no means am I suggesting you drink your beer warm, as the beers you like should be properly chilled. However there is a point where a lager opens up a little bit, which to me is say mid 40's or about 10-15 minutes out of the fridge. Now that summer is here I have been drinking more lagers and i have to say that ice cold just tastes like carbonated malto. you cant discern the hops or much of the malt at all.

                                                                      I suppose if you are drinking a beer with corn or rice you probably woudlnt want to taste those things but i believe the two you listed are all malt. Bell's I am sure is, Stella I dont know. JessKidden would probably know and will probably chime in.

                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                        I think some here are making the mistake that beer is meant to be drunk for flavor -and flavor only - and unless you drink your beer at some "required" temperature, you don't like beer. I don't think you can get more snobbish than that.

                                                                        There's also refreshment - thirst quenching properties in beer that I and millions of others enjoy. I know I enjoy a good cold beer - craft beer even - especially lagers - once in a while. Sorry, but a 50 degree beer, no matter how much flavor it has, just isn't going to be as refreshing as a 38 degree beer when its 90 degrees out. And its not like a flavorful beer is all of a sudden going to taste like macro lager just because its 10-15 degrees colder. And since beer warms as it sits in the glass (except for drinking outside in the cold weather), there's plenty of opportunity to enjoy its full flavor too - the best of both worlds imo.

                                                                        What I find hilarious is that beer geeks are always putting others down for wanting their beer ice cold, claim that it washes away flavor, yet go to any beer fest (even the best ones) and you will be hard pressed to find a beer served from a keg that is over 42F - yet beer geeks are wetting themeselves over their ice cold 2 oz. samples.

                                                                        I hate the us vs. them aspect that many beer geeks seem to have. We really have a lot to learn from each other. Beer should be something that brings people together, not divide them. So most people enjoy beer for different reasons other than just flavor - BFD.

                                                                        A nice cold Oberon sounds good right about now.

                                                                        .

                                                                        1. re: LStaff

                                                                          Aren't you now doing what you say you dislike in others? If a beer geek is unhappy about being served an ice cold barrel-aged stout (for example), isn't that their prerogative? Isn't your insistence that they get over it and just drink it ice cold the same as them saying they think people ought to drink beer a little warmer?

                                                                          Am I not allowed to have my preference, as you are yours?

                                                                          1. re: LStaff

                                                                            Where in post did I demand that you drink your beer warm? If you read it you will notice that I ask for the poster to try it the other way. If you ask me you are clearly guilty of what you accuse in others, this us vs them mentality. What I am suggesting is that people who are really into beer might know a little more on the subject and that they might have something useful to teach.

                                                                            As for the refreshment factor, if I am really hot I will down a big glass of cold water before I move on to beer. If I am outdoors and it is in the 90s, I probably will reach for a cold lager or lighter ale but not one that is just above freezing. The 40-45 degree range will certainly cool me down.

                                                                  2. I have since discovered that all the gamut of commercially produced Mexican beers... from Modelo to Tecate tastes much better at my garage's natural ambient temperature.... mid 60's than refrigerated. They have more body, flavor & they actually taste good.

                                                                    Drinking refrigerated beer is so 80's

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                      Eat Nopal-The best Mexican beer I have tried thusfar is Cucapa Barleywine. It is brewed near Tijuana, I think. It is an excellent barley wine and one that should be served in the low 60's. If you see this, give it a shot.

                                                                      http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                        There are several good microbrews from T.J..... Casta from Monterrey, and a number of brewpubs in Mexico City, I also enjoy McTarnahan's (Oregon) & Chimay. I am partial to Scottish Ales & dark full bodied Belgian beers.... but I don't get hops at all... do you still think I would enjoy that barley wine?

                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                          It is not overly hopped so I think you might like it. if you like those two styles this would be a natural fit for you.

                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                            Hey I really I appreciate it... my last experience with a beer wine was from Arizona... Old Saguaro (I believe)... I liked the concept but it was too hoppy for my taste... so I definitely will request Cucapa at Beverages & More.

                                                                            Thanks

                                                                    2. I just want to say...not only do I love beer...but this is the most thoughtful, mature, considerate and friendly thread I've ever seen on the internet. It just goes to show you that good people really do drink good beer. I love you guys...

                                                                      1. As with many others in this thread ...
                                                                        - light lagers and such, served at fridge temps (~40F)
                                                                        - everything else is some variation of "cellar temp", ranging from upper 40s to lower 60s depending on the style of beer (lagers generally on the colder end, ales start moving towards the higher end depending on what they are)
                                                                        - Never, ever room temp, unless it happens to be a very cold room.

                                                                        1. We like some of our dark homebrews at room temperature. There's a depth of flavor there that really comes out. Other than that, we refrigerate pretty consistently.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Aravisea

                                                                            This weekend,I drank a Dogfish Head Aprihop, from the bottom of the cooler and I had the thought (for the first time in my life) that the beer was too cold. The apricot flavor was "lost" in the cold, if that makes sense.

                                                                          2. From my profile: My current drink of choice:

                                                                            Abysynth, Hemlock, and a can of warm Bud
                                                                            This was warm Bud was in Viet Nam. I now prefer my ales direct from the cellar. Lagers from the fridge. But I am not fussy. Better a warm brewsky than a warm Coke.

                                                                            1. I drink beer at room temperature if it's something strong like an imperial stout or a barleywine and if it's cold out.

                                                                              1. Growl at the elite beer drinkers and wine drinkers. Room temp is room temperature. A cellar is technically a room, and a smart person with a cellar would in fact store most of his edible and drinkable in the coolest room during summer. I like my beer to be around 75 degrees winter and summer. At both seasons the beer is refreshing! Also those who say American beers are not beer are too elitest. America makes some good beers. Of course the best beers are from europe, but I would not like life without a bottle of budweiser now and then. I enjoy 10 dollar belgium beer just as much as I enjoy a 1.50 bottle of Burdweiser! Go Junior! and Go Ronaldo! 75 degrees! If your rooms are warmer than 75 during the summer you might as well live on the street! And If they are warmer than 75 during the winter you should be forced to drink zima.

                                                                                48 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                  You like Bud at 75 degrees? You don't refrigerate your beer then?

                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                    I give you partial credit. I do regularly drink my Bud below room temperature. But I drink it at the temperature from the store plus the heat it gets on my shelf. I don't store beer in the fridge. I am a big fan of warm american and import beers. I drink it pretty quick though, 24 hours after opening if it is a giant vessel! During the winter I put my beer on my window. It is perfect for me. The top is room temp, but the bottom is cool to cold at the bottom.

                                                                                  2. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                    I'd disagree that the best beers are from Europe. These days, American craft beers more than hold their own with European beers. Also, the notion that beer should be drunk at 75f room temperature is a misconception. Pub temperature is more like cellar temperature, in the mid 50s. And if you drink Bud at 75f, whats the point? The purpose of drinking beer at lower temps is to bring out the flavor, and industrial beer like Bud is brewed specifically to eliminate flavor, which might offend the palates of people averse to the bitterness of hops. While macro produced beers are techically still beer, they bear as much resemblance to real beer as velveeta does to artisan cheese.

                                                                                    1. re: chuckl

                                                                                      I like velveeta too, and I respect your opinion. I can only say.. My drinking beer at a warmer temperature than most is a "get feeling" :)

                                                                                      1. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                        Its a big world and theres room for all kinds of tastes. If thats what you like more power to you

                                                                                      2. re: chuckl

                                                                                        actually the warmer a beer is the more flavor is brought out. that's why american light lagers are served as cold as possible as you don't want to have the taste coming out.

                                                                                        you're absolutely correct though that modern american craft beers are the cream of the crop in terms of the world's beer hierarchy. otoh since a monstrous %age of american beers are still ALLs the notion that euro beers are superior to american is definitely a defensible one.

                                                                                        1. re: jgg13

                                                                                          "you're absolutely correct though that modern american craft beers are the cream of the crop in terms of the world's beer hierarchy."

                                                                                          What is the world beer hierarchy top to bottom?

                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                            Well anything I make is the top of the list, obviously ....

                                                                                            I'm assuming you're being snarky and that wasn't serious but my statement was intended as a reaction to the masses that fetishize various european beers (particularly german, considering that the now no longer enforceable Reinheitsgebot had nothing to do with beer quality and IMO caused their beers to stagnate).

                                                                                            For all the hype that the belgians get for innovation it is telling that they (as well as UK) are finding themselves picking up technique and style modifications from the US craft breweries. They wouldn't be doing that if they were already superior.

                                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                                              I enjoy beer from all over including right here in the USA. My favorite style is pilsner. And honestly my favorites are American from breweries such as Victory, Sly Fox and Stoudts; although I won't pass up a Jever, Pinkus, Czechvar, or Urquell either. However there are certain styles that I enjoy that I don't think we've matched or surpassed here in the US including: English Mild, English Bitter, English ESB, English Pale Ale, Flemish Red Ale, Oud Bruin, Gueuze, Black Bier, and others. Having said that I like the innovation coming from Italy, Scandinavia and other parts of the world and acknowledge the American influence. However from what I've tasted of Italian craft it is a true reflection of their culture.

                                                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                I think the impending explosion of US craft breweries futzing with sours might change the outlook for some of those styles in the near future. We're starting to see a lot more sour styles, spontaneous fermentation, etc from our side of the pond. If nothing else, at least it seems to have push the now very played out barrel aging trend to the back a bit.

                                                                                                I think one issue w/ the british styles (as well as german styles like hefeweizen) is that until recently people here had a pretty warped idea of what they were supposed to taste like due to only ever having overaged, lightstruck, etc examples. It's like Jamil Z's tale about BJCP judges always worrying about the lack of the distinctive "british flavor" from US homebrewed UK styles, but then he goes to australia and the homebrewers there are lamenting they can't replicate the distinctive "american flavor", both of which were simply oxidation.

                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                  I have to say.. European beers being described as German, UK, or Belgium speaks volumes. The beers of Europe are probably tied with some American craft beers if the beers are made in areas of the US with superior water quality. As for storage of the beer, Europe laws make it possible in ways Americans can not. The health department would shut down a bar if the beer was kept in a perpetual open well ferment, but in my personal opinion (that means no criticism) I like when I can taste a little current events in my beer. I will keep beers open on my counter and drink them at 75 degrees and push the mold aside! Beer is alcohol, and all of the laws and process corporations sell a product devoid of true glug.

                                                                                                  1. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                                    With most modern breweries modifying their water as they deem fit, "water quality" isn't really a huge deal anymore. Many breweries are brewing with water that's quite different than what comes out of their taps by the time they've modified the stuff. Also it's possible for a brewery to start w/ RO water and build it up from scratch.

                                                                                                    Someone with normal tastebuds can taste "a little current events" at appropriate temperatures, no need to go so high.

                                                                                                  2. re: jgg13

                                                                                                    It's hard to make sour beer well. I've had some poor ones. And truly I have yet to try an American sour, as much as I love the ones from Russian River, that has as much character as the beers from Cantillon.

                                                                                                    I was recently in NYC and went to Birreria. That was an eye-opener. Almost every beer I sampled there was plagued by off flavors. Phenolic flavors in particular seem very hard for non-Belgian brewers of Belgian styles to master. More distressing than the poor quality of these beers were the nouveau beer geeks praising them.

                                                                                                    Say what you will about the BJCP, going though a program learning how to judge beer by their method teaches you a hell of a lot about detecting flavors in beer.

                                                                                                    I like a lot of American craft beer, but I've had some worryingly mediocre stuff as of late from newer producers. And while the neutered European big brands have suffered at the hands of Diageo there are still a great many well-made German, English, and Belgian beers that demonstrate a level of skill that some of the newer American brewers would do well to emulate.

                                                                                                    After all the poor quality beers I sampled at Birreria I was tempted to order a Moretti. Not because it's such a great beer, but because at least with that one I knew I wouldn't be drinking a phenolic mess or a butter bomb.

                                                                                                    (Obviously there are exceptions to the above comments. Baladin in Italy makes incredible beers, but sadly none of those were on draft during our visit.)

                                                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                                                      I wonder if you meant AB Inbev when you said Diageo.

                                                                                                      Perhaps sour beers are an exception, but I think that in general, American craft beers are technically sound, if not always esthetically pleasing. I would expect that good or bad, brewers would give themselves more latitude with a beer that is supposed to funky.

                                                                                                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                        Yes, I did. Thanks for the correction.

                                                                                                        I think some styles are more consistently sound than others. I find Belgian styles in general to be done poorly, with out of control phenols. Some American brewers make good Belgian-style beer, but I find that to be the exception, not the rule.

                                                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                                                          And that Canadian brewer being an exception as well.

                                                                                                          1. re: JAB

                                                                                                            And they haven't been immune from it either. I stopped drinking la fin du monde a few years ago because of over the too phenolic character

                                                                                                            1. re: LStaff

                                                                                                              I'll have to look out for that. I really haven't been drinking many Belgian style beers over the last few years due to the current American beer boom. My recollection was that Unibroue made Belgian style beer better than many Belgian breweries.

                                                                                                          2. re: Josh

                                                                                                            Part of the problem is that too many people equate "out of control phenols" with "good belgian beer".

                                                                                                        2. re: Josh

                                                                                                          It is tough to compare American beers verses European bar room beer brands if you have to buy your beer from an American store. I am one that believes the european beer brands are cutting the American destined lot. A dark beer in Italia will taste a lot fresher in Italy. The same is true from a craft house pub in the states.

                                                                                                          1. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                                            You realize that there's a perfectly logical reason why it'd taste fresher than they're somehow being cut, right?

                                                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                              You are right. It is a pretty common statement among holland Heineken drinkers. But you are correct. Most pales are best when they are 15 minutes old.

                                                                                                              1. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                                                I think that those sorts of jokes are rampant everywhere though. When I was in college (early 90s) we were always told that the local Sam Adams was brewed at the local Genesee brewery. The joke was that Genny was whatever spilled over the side and got mopped up.

                                                                                                                I mentioned it in an earlier post, how Americans describe things like "british character" and how Jamil discovered that Aussies describe an "American character", but really they are all just oxidation notes. When an entire population believes that another country's beers generally taste like oxidized beer that's a good sign that the long journey & being mistreated on said journey are going to be causing problems in terms of freshness.

                                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                  "British character" is the malt. British beers tend to be malt driven where the most distinctive feature is the complexity of the malt. Bready.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                    If you're comparing to American ales, then typically you will also have a British yeast that is conferring more character than the Chico (Narragansett) yeast that is so commonly used in the US, and British hops vs American hops. Lots of differences.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                      That's not what I'm talking about - and actually the yeasts used there have more to do with the particular character IMO, but yes things like the use of marris otter are distinctive.

                                                                                                                      What I'm talking about is if you take a canonical british beer and drink it there and then here you'll find a difference. And that difference is fairly common regardless of styles, and happens to taste a lot like oxidation. Of course, that mgiht be the malt I suppose.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                        I'm sure that many imported beers become tired by the time they reach foreign retailers. I tend to drink German beers in Germany, US beers in the US, etc, to avoid that issue.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                          Right, a simpler way to go about saying things than the anecdote about national characters that I happen to find amusing.

                                                                                                                        2. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                          I know Adnam's Broadside, Wells Bombardier, and Landlord Bitter pretty well on both sides of the pond.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                            here's an experiment to try. buy one of the above, let it sit at higher than ideal temps for a few months, sitting out in sunlight. Buy another one fresh. Compare the two.

                                                                                                                            Do the same for just about any style of beer.

                                                                                                                            And another, and another.

                                                                                                                            You'll find a pattern that forms.

                                                                                                                            Yes, not all beer is abused in the manner that I cite above and yes, things are generally better than they used to be. But it still happens and things start oxidizing immediately just some more than others.

                                                                                                                            Alternatively you can rust the test the way I did last Thursday after I opened an '04 westvleteren. Go figure, it was noticeably very oxidized compared to the last bottle I opened (around '08).

                                                                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                              "here's an experiment to try. buy one of the above, let it sit at higher than ideal temps for a few months, sitting out in sunlight. Buy another one fresh. Compare the two."

                                                                                                                              I'll pass on wasting good English beer. As I said I've enjoyed them here in the United States and in Great Britain; I'm pretty sure for the same reason.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                In any case, if you let the beer sit in sunlight for several months, skunking is going to overpower any other change in flavor.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                  Even hesiod knew that back in 500 bc.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Dastreagus

                                                                                                                                    I had to go to wikipedia to see who Hesiod was! Looks like you're a century or two off, but point taken in any case.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                      I am using the date of Hesiod death plus 60 years of life which places his date of birth 487 bc. I figured he wrote works and days mid 450 bc. My source is Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War book 3 operation in sicily and greece. I rounded up to 500 bc for just a round easy number. The people on wikipedia I believe say 700 bc. I too believed that date until I stumbled across this reference after reading greek histories for what seems to me 350 years at least.

                                                                                                              2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                I'd agree w/ you on the sours here although that was sort of the point I was getting at - that the eye of saur^H^H^H^Hcraft breweries is really just starting to really turn it's attention that way.

                                                                                                                Also agree that there's a lot of crap, just because it is 'craft' doesn't mean that it is good. In a lot of ways I think we're due for another correction like ~2000ish when the market exploded wiht every tom, dick & harry trying to get their craft beer on the market.

                                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                  Compounding the problem you identify at the end there is that craft beer is now a hip thing, so there's a big crowd of bandwagoneers who don't know sh*t from Shinola propping up these mediocre breweries.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                    That's sort of ironic. In the early days we didn't really know what to look for in a beer, but we were enthusiastic. At the same time, craft brewers were often learning their trade on the job, at our expense (many of them learning that producing beer on a larger scale requires different skills than homebrewing).

                                                                                                                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                      I think you're right, Jim. Scaling to much larger quantities is a larger problem than most brewers realize. It's not like you can get to 100 gallon batches from 30 gallons by simply multiplying the grain bill; its not that simple. Macro brewers take a lot of flack for producing an insipid product, and justifiably so, but they do have the scale worked out, as well as the all-important process and quality controls. At large volumes, it really does become an industrial process. Craft brewers can learn a lot from them in that regard and some, like Sierra Nevada, and I would guess Samuel Adams, certainly have. Craft beer from a lot of brewers is way too inconsistent, batch to batch.

                                                                                                                      1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                                        I wonder: why is consistency a praiseworthy attribute in beer production, when wine producers are perhaps expected to show year-to-year variation? I suppose the variability in weather affects winemakers more directly and more extremely than it does brewers, which goes a long way toward explaining different attitudes toward their product. But personally, I don't mind if a beer changes as long, just so long as it's not bad (even if that change is due to the technique rather than the harvest).

                                                                                                                        1. re: eethan

                                                                                                                          Wine is connected more directly to its primary raw ingredient. The grapes can vary considerably each year. While barley and hops also vary, brewers can more easily adjust for it. Also, wine is made once a year from that year's harvest, while beer (except for seasonals) is made year-round.

                                                                                                                          1. re: eethan

                                                                                                                            I think there is some beers where variation over time is just fine. Specialty ales and seasonals come to mind. People love to discuss how Anchor Steams Christmas Ale (Our Special Ale) varies from year to year and some have enough to do vertical tastings. Nothing wrong with that. Im even fine with styles like Imperial Stouts and barley wines and bretty sours and such having some nuanced differences from year to year. Even some ambers and browns and reds have room for some subtle differences over time but Im not really looking for variation by the batch. And Im certainly not looking for taste variation when I pick up my go to german lager or a traditional pilsner I like let alone from a Budweiser or the equivalent.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                              I don't think anyone really minds small variations, but when a beer is so different that it didn't offer a similar experience or enjoyment the next time you buy it, then there is a problem.

                                                                                                                          2. re: chuckl

                                                                                                                            A lot of the early craft brewers had trouble with sanitation as well. I had a few severely infected beers back then.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                              @LagunitasT recently tweeted that there were sour beers in the 90's too, but no one wanted to drink them. lol. Seems these days when things go bad, just market them as if it was intended and geeks will love it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                  There's a passage in "Brew like a monk" where Hieronymus requests that one doesn't simply label any bad batch of beer as a belgian when entering into bjcp competition. That always made me chuckle.

                                                                                                    2. The third day after the hurricane.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: emu48

                                                                                                        Ha! That's a good one.
                                                                                                        Are you speaking from personal experience?

                                                                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                          Eight years ago, one year before I bought a house in Florida, areas around Tampa were without power for a week. When I was shopping for a generator, those who suffered through that experience advised me to buy the biggest one I could afford, and keep a week of fuel, and a lot of beer. In the days/weeks after hurricanes in Florida, cold beer is one of few pleasures. I have not suffered the experience, but I'm prepared.

                                                                                                      2. Eat: I acknowledge that, at least to my palate, I get a more complete range of flavor from any given beer at room temp... and that at very cool temperatures the flavor becomes somewhat locked up in a singlular note or two...

                                                                                                        That said, for the total experience I still put it in the fridge for at least 10-20 mins before drinking, pretty much year-round. This isn't thoroughly chilled but is definitely cooler than room temp... It will obviously warm up as the bottle empties, especially if I'm starting with a 20+ oz bottle. This goes for any variety, including heavies like barleywines, trappist ales, porters and stouts... I probably chill lighter beers (pale ales, wheats) a bit more than the heavies but not by much.

                                                                                                        I just prefer that moderate chill to start and can't say exactly why. Preference for cool or warm is all palate and probably even thyroid specific...

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: TombstoneShadow

                                                                                                          For boozing purposes, "room temp" doesn't mean modern room temp, it's closer to "cellar temp".