Chilled – Not Frozen – Craft Beer is Happy Craft Beer

Novelsit Haruki Murakami with a frozen Budweiser can

“[A] cold beer at the end of the day is the best thing life has to offer. Some choosy people say that a too cold beer doesn’t taste good, but I couldn’t disagree more. The first beer should be so cold you can’t even taste it. The second one should be a little less chilled, but I want that first one to be like ice. I want it to be so cold my temples throb with pain. This is my own personal preference of course.”

– Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Freezing, ice-cold beer may be Mr. Murakami’s preference–or the preference of the character who’s speaking in his novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. But it sure isn’t mine.

Call me “choosy,” but unless I’m drinking Budweiser or some other watered-down, poor-tasting brew, I’d rather drink it chilled or close to room temperature.

That’s just my own personal preference of course.

The colder the beer, the less you can taste it. Ice-cold liquids numb your taste buds. That’s a fact, and one you can easily test. Just do a side-by-side tasting of a freezing cold brew and a room temperature one. Now, if you choose to drink shitty beer, than freezing cold may be the way to go. But with so much good beer on the market, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not truly tasting and savoring it.


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4 thoughts on “Chilled – Not Frozen – Craft Beer is Happy Craft Beer

  1. G-LO says:

    Well said! Great beer improves as it warms up, especially Stouts, Porters, and Sours. Fight the power!

    • Agreed. I think more people are starting to realize that. But the traditional message from brewers like A-B has always been the colder the better, so the average person still thinks all beer should be cold. Shitty beer should be, I guess. But not all beer tastes better freezing cold.


  2. Sherwood says:

    I really enjoy tasting the flavors “open up” as a beer warms to perfect tasting temperature. I also enjoy “cask beers” served room temp or cooled but not chilled. My neighborhood brew pub often has a special cask brew on or a cask version of one of their house brews sometimes with a little something extra such as adding a different hops variety.
    By the way……I was getting worried, waiting for a new post of yours.

    • I’m a big fan of cask ales, too, though certain styles of beer definitely work better than others on cask. Dark, malty ales seem to work well in my experience.


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