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Some brews taste better not ice cold

Anthony Dalton

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Hey all, 

I put four bottles of the Big Bear Imperial Brown Ale into the fridge this afternoon when I got home from work. After an hour in the fridge, I threw one into the freezer for forty odd minutes. I popped it open and poured a stein, thinking how good is this? Sadly it was all all a bit meh! 
Yes it was ice cold, however the flavour was completely compromised. I could have been drinking anything. I opened the second bottle, after a couple of hours in the fridge it was probably between 6 and 10 degrees and it was just perfect.

Look; I have grown up in Australia and always thought the colder the beer the better. My mindset is starting to alter, anyone else found the same thing?




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Warmer temperatures allow more of the "volatile" flavour compounds that cause aroma to come out of the beer. A lot of ales are very aromatic with toffee or banana notes coming through strongly and are best at a "cool" temperature. Meanwhile lagers, which have a more "refreshing" taste and tend not to run so heavily with aromas are more suited to the "ice cold" serving suggestion. Lager has been the most popular beer style in Australia and the US for a long time, and in the warmer parts an ice cold lager is incredibly refreshing, so you can see why it's so popular! But that has led to the notion that all beer is best ice cold here, while in the UK they even sometimes warm ales up to serve them!

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  • 8 months later...

Born in Germany (army brat) but did learn that beers each have their favored serving temperature. I reckon the whole business of ice cold beer is that it was just about necessary in hot and or humid climates like Australia and much of USA. I reckon to that American Pale Ale came about as looking to make a beer that went down easy in hot weather....it's probably more complicated than that however. And the near transparent color of commercial pale ales seems strange for when you make an ale of your own you get a darker amber that's speaks of a better beer!

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