Spirit Cruises Summer 2019 Leaderboard

Don't Let "Ice-Cold" Hype Ruin Your Beer

by The Drink Nation on Mar 9, 2012 in Beer
Don't Let

“When the mountains turn blue, the beer is ready to drink!” You’ve probably heard this gimmicky campaign for Coors Light (which refers to the brand’s current, color-sensitive can design). It follows a long tradition of big beer marketing that glorifies drinking “ice-cold” brews. However, as many of us who drink real beer already know, near-freezing temps are not at all optimum for suds consumption, especially with the more flavorful styles outside of filtered pilsners. The ploy is useful to mask off-putting tastes that might creep into those macro-brews, but is unfortunately applied across the board.

Proper drinking temperature is not that easy to achieve, because beer is often stored cold in order to help keep it fresh, and a restaurant walk-in or your home fridge usually has only one setting. Once a keg is tapped or a bottle is opened, a slight chill is absolutely necessary to avoid spoilage. Even at a good craft beer bar, if you’re not drinking a cask ale from a hand pump or beer engine, the likelihood is your brew will be overly chilly.

Mark Garrison of The Sporkful became frustrated by this practice, and recently wrote a well-researched rant for Slate.com, in which he looked at why the cold kills flavor and what to do about it. Speaking with sensory scientist Sue Langstaff, he discovered the explanation of the problem’s cause:

Since key aromatic compounds cannot volatilize at lower temperatures, they won’t release their scent into the headspace gas above the liquid. Put more plainly, the smell the brewer wants you to experience is muzzled; any fruity or floral character is literally on ice.

Garrison notes that craft brewers are taking steps to change the tide of over-iced beer service (including the practice of pouring into frosted mugs). San Diego’s Ballast Point and New England’s Harpoon both offer suggesting serving temperatures along with their online descriptions of each of their labels. And the Brewers Association provides a handy pairing guide that also has suggested degree ranges for each style of brew.

So next time someone offers to buy you “a cold one,” get the maximum flavor experience by assuring it’s a sufficiently temperate one, instead.

Top photo via Flickr user traviscommeau; bottom photo via Flickr user jonesor

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Inside Look: Campari's Stylish North American Headquarters in New York

Inside Look: Campari's Stylish North American Headquarters in New York

If you're a frequent Negroni drinker, always order Wild Turkey Bourbon in your old fashioneds, or prefer your ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 9, 2020
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

For this exciting installment of Behind the Bar, we had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Liana Oster, the head bartender at Dante in New Yo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 7, 2020
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
The Damage of Trump's Wine Tariffs: Importers Expect Shutdowns & Layoffs, Industry Could Be Irreparably Harmed

The Damage of Trump's Wine Tariffs: Importers Expect Shutdowns & Layoffs, Industry Could Be Irreparably Harmed

The wine industry in the United States may be in serious jeopardy thanks to proposed tariffs by the Trump admi...read more ›

by Nina Starner Dec 23, 2019
Royal Boucherie Now Offers a Three Course Lunch Special With a $25 Prix-Fixe & $2 Martinis

Royal Boucherie Now Offers a Three Course Lunch Special With a $25 Prix-Fixe & $2 Martinis

Nicholas Elmi's Old City spot, Royal Boucherie, is offering the best lunch special in the city: $2 martinis wi...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 9, 2019
Drink Philly's Repeal Eve Ball Recap (PHOTOS)

Drink Philly's Repeal Eve Ball Recap (PHOTOS)

On the evening of Wednesday, December 4, partygoers raised a glass to the end of Prohibition and the passing of the 21st Amendment at Drink Philly's R...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 9, 2019
Prohibition Taproom is More Than Just Beer: An Inside Look at Their Cocktail Program

Prohibition Taproom is More Than Just Beer: An Inside Look at Their Cocktail Program

Prohibition Taproom, one of Philly's most beloved neighborhood bars, is definitely known for its beer and cide...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 19, 2019
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close