Friday 27 August 2010

Mythbusting - Beer

When I made my first trip to England many years ago, I remember being warned that "British people drink warm beer" and was advised to ask for ice if I wanted my beer cold. I assumed this was true and was ready to be served body-temperature beer. Much to my surprise, every pint I ordered felt familiarly cold in my hand and refreshing as it went down my thirsty throat. So, was my experience an unsual one? Or perhaps the pubs I visited catered to tourists in London, so they served their beer cold? In order to bust this myth in true Jamie and Adam style, a bit of research was required: I observed people ordering different types of beer - lager, stout, bitter and ales and very scientifically looked at their glass to see if the drink inside appeared cold, and then did some Googling. (Science Fair students eat your heart out!)

Here's the low-down:

Lager , the most widely-consumed beer in the world, is served cold. This inlcudes Budweiser, Coors, Miller, etc. Beer snobs will tell you that lager is served as cold as possible to numb your tastebuds so you dont know it tastes like piss.

Ale, such as Newcastle Brown Ale and stouts are traditionally served at cellar temperature (approx 55 degrees F), however, most I've experienced are served around 40 degrees F, which I would call cool, not cold.  Although, I should probably mention that I don't spend much time in real ale pubs, where you are more likely to find cellar temperature ales.  If you're after this traditional experience, check out the Campaign for Real Ale.  To further complicate the matter, Guinness, which is a stout of course, now offers "Guinness extra cold", which is available on draught and is apparently very popular (says my local publican).

Beer is not served warm in England.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks! Maybe Craig Fisher wants to be my first advertiser? :)

  3. It's probably very wrong of me to be slightly relieved that not all beer is served warm, huh? Oh well...I am relieved. :)

    Will there be more mythbusting soon? I love the idea of you being a professional blogger! You're a brilliant writer!

  4. Ah I love it! Let's think of more Myths to bust....

  5. I've got a few more in the works.

  6. I had a hard time ordering beer when I first moved to England because I didn't recognize the English beers and I didn't know what kind of beer I actually LIKED (lager, ale, pilsner, etc). Then I realized I used to drink Copperhead ALE in the US and oh, I think I like ales! :-P I never really had to think about what type of beer I was actually drinking.