Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Slate Article on Beer

I listen to several Slate podcasts but rarely visit its website.   This changed about two weeks ago when I downloaded Slate's iPhone app (along with a few others) in a futile attempt to be the lucky person to download the 25th million app on iTunes.  I check my Slate app about once a day and usually find an interesting story, and this morning I read a good article on beer serving temperatures.  For an experienced beer drinker who tries a variety of beers, it doesn't take reading an article to know that as a beer warms its flavors expand, or that frosted glasses, like lemon or orange wedges, are beer faux pas.  I found it interesting that macro brewers like their beer served just above freezing, which ensures their tasteless beers stay bland. Think of that the next time you see that Coor's Light commercial touting Coor's two-stage, super cold activation for cans and bottles of Coor's Light. 

The serious beer geek will like this passage:
But changing attitudes—and habits—isn’t going to be easy. Most draft systems are built to operate at 38 degrees. Fiddling with the temperature can affect carbonation and raise the risk of contaminated lines. Bars dedicated to the cause of good beer drinking (like Washington D.C.’s ChurchKey, which I’ve written about previously) can operate different draft lines at different temperatures, but it requires substantial investment in equipment, training, and maintenance.
I'll admit I like a cold beer, but I also appreciate it as it warms up.  I like higher alcohol beers, in particular Belgian beers, at warmer temperatures.

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