Not all beers
are the same, and similarly, not all beers are at their best at the same temperature
. Colder temperatures accentuate bitterness from hops
and the "clean" taste produced by lager yeast
while warmer temperatures highlight subtle esters and other flavours of a more complex, fuller bodied beers. All temperatures are in degrees celsius
rather than any archaic measure that might still be in mainstream use in some of the more backward parts of our planet. Abbey
& Trappist beers
have been treated seperately as enkel
- 1° - 3°: Any filthy, disgusting beer. The main reason you'd drink a beer this cold is because whatever flavour it has, you'd rather avoid it. You wouldn't drink a beer this cold just because it wasn't that interesting.
Examples: Boags Classic Bitter, Geelong Bitter, (American) Budweiser, imitation Pilsner Urquell, too many others.
- 4° - 7°: Mainstream Lagers and, um... that's about it. Sake is technically a beer and is usually served at this temperature but I'm told that good sake is better consumed warm. Also, any beer that you are going to drink in the shower.
Examples: Castle, Lion, Swan, Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught, Harp, Carling, Miller, Molson.
- 8° - 12°: pilsner, helles and dunkel bock, Dort, Munich Helles and Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Märzen and most other types of premium lager. Also Cream Ale, enkel, Altbier, Kölsch, Weizen, Mild Ale, lower gravity India Pale Ale and Bitter.
Examples: Paulaner Oktoberfest, Löwenbräu, DAB, Heineken, Grolsch, Becks, Stella Artois, Carlsberg, Hahn Premium, Crown Lager, Cascade, James Boag, Dominion, Küppers, Weihenstephaner Kristal Export.
- 13° - 16°: Lambic, saison, dubbel, pale ale, bitter, scotch ale, cream ale, irish ale, dark ale, red Ale, brown Ale, most other types of ale.
Examples: Guinness, Belle-Vue kriek, Straffe Hendrik Delerium Tremens, Saison Dupont, Caffrey's Irish Ale, Pete's Wicked Ale, Boddingtons.
- 17° - 19°: All high gravity beers. Lagers include doppelbock, eisbock, Samichlaus and ice beer. Also served at this temperature are trippel, quadrupel, strong ale, barley wine, imperial stout and baltic porter. Any beer drunk while waiting for the refrigerator repair man to arrive.
Examples: EKU28, Thomas Hardy's Ale, Salvator, Chimay Blue Cap.
It should be noted that these are just guidelines and you should drink your beer at the temperature you'll enjoy it most. One of my finest memories was of floating in an inflated inner tube
in a river in the midday heat of a 35 degree day around friends while camping, with a one and a half litre stein
of near frozen hefeweizen
in my hand - ahhh... forget these rules just turn your heating on, wear your winter woolies
and keep all your beer in the freezer.