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The ideal temperature to serve beer, contrary to what mass-market beer commercials will tell you, is not always ice-ice cold, baby. For centuries, beer drinkers didn’t have access to refrigerators, kegerators, or even those ridiculous little cans that change color when they’re about to hit freezing. And yet over all that time people were still drinking and enjoying their beer. As it turns out, different beers have different ideal serving temperatures.
There’s a rumor going around that English people enjoy warm beer but in reality they just enjoy their beer warmer (but still cool) than Americans do. Pubs in England store their beer in cellars and often serve them at cellar temperature. This generally means between 50-55° F, which is cooler than room temperature, but definitely not icy.
The reason for this is that serving beers at warmer temperatures allows their flavors to open up. Generally speaking, the colder the beer gets, the more carbonation is enhanced, and the weaker the taste is.
From a craft beer standpoint making beer with a light touch is an art and they can be very flavorful at warmer temperatures. This stands in stark contrast to mass-market breweries that use cold as a marketing strategy in order to mask the imperfections of their brew. Not that there’s anything wrong with enjoying an ice cold beer but sometimes it’s good to try something with a bit more oomph.
At Hopsy we deal in flavorful craft beer that is meant to be enjoyed at slightly higher temperatures than your average American mass produced lager. We store beer in our cold warehouse at less than 40° F in order to slow the aging process but they should be served at higher temperatures. Keeping beer at exact temperatures is tricky but the general categories are Ice Cold, Cold, Cool, and Cellar Temp. Each beer at Hopsy has a style guide that accompanies it with serving temperature, glass to use, and more, check all of them out here Beer Menu.
Here is a short guide to some of the beer we offer and their ideal serving temperatures:
Cavanaugh Kolsch by Alameda Island Brewery Company
This is a light German-style beer with a slightly sweet, malty and fruity flavor to it. This is a beer designed to be refreshing and should be served cold (but not ice cold) from 40-45°F.
Tipperary Pale Ale by Moylan’s Brewery
This is a lighter style pale ale that walks the line between crisp and bitter. It’s flavorful but serving this beer cold from 40-45°F strikes the right balance between its bitterness and its malty flavor. Any cooler and the temperature would make it too bitter, any warmer and it might lose its bite.
Ironbridge Wenlock Stout by Freewheel Brewing Company
This is a dark stout with flavors of chocolate and espresso. It’s also a cask style ale, which means it is unfiltered and has much lower carbonation. Cask style ale’s are generally hand pumped out of the keg and are served at cellar temperature (50-55° F) in order let the flavors really shine.
Citroen Farmhouse by Baeltane Brewing
This Saison/Farmhouse Ale is a medium bodied beer with fruity tart flavors and a dry finish. It’s refreshing but shouldn’t be served too cold. In general Saison’s should be served from cool temperature (45-50° F) to cellar temperature (50-55° F)