Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Beer Styles: chilled v.s. warmed up?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by TokyoCO, Jan 16, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TokyoCO

    TokyoCO Jan 7, 2013 Colorado

    Hello, I have recently been drinking a lot of darker heavy beers and have noticed that they tend to be more flavorful when they have warmed up a bit. What styles of beer do you tend to let warm up before drinking? Are there any beers that you do not chill at all? I just got SN Bigfoot, should I let this warm up a bit before drinking?

    creepinjeeper likes this.
  2. TokyoCO

    TokyoCO Jan 7, 2013 Colorado

    Any thoughts?
  3. LeRose

    LeRose Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    I like taking a sip or two cold and then let it warm. And I drink slow so that more or less happens anyway. Kind of enjoy experiencing the flavor changes as the beer warms from the fridge. I do find I enjoy most IPAs a little cold, but when I had my first Backwoods Bastard recently, I was seriously diggin it when it got to room temp.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  4. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Dec 11, 2006 California

    The only time I had Abyss it was super cold out of the tap and the beer suffered because of it. As it began to warm, I could tell that it was getting better. But then the next thing I knew, it was gone. I drank it all. Because Raul didn't go to the bar to babysit that thing.
  5. CircusBoy

    CircusBoy Mar 10, 2008 Ohio

    Depends on the style, but I like letting most of my beers warm up a bit before I drink them. Too cold and I can't get all the flavor out of it. Plenty of times I've drank IPAs/Stouts/Barleywines at room temp just because I didn't feel like waiting for it to cool down.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  6. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Any craft beer is better when it is warmer rather than colder. And yes, definitely let Bigfoot warm up before drinking.
  7. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    I milked an Abyss at a bar yesterday for about an hour. It just kept getting better as it warmed up.

    My cellar at my house stays between 48 and 53 degrees. I drink most my beers (besides IPA, lagers, etc) straight from it with no additional chilling. I used to not really enjoy big stouts until I started doing this.
  8. MilkManX

    MilkManX Jul 10, 2012 Arizona

    The darker color the beer the warmer I like it.
    rvajohn, ccbegg, musicman7070 and 2 others like this.
  9. omniscientcause

    omniscientcause Jun 4, 2010 District of Columbia

    I think what OP is getting at is do you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours then take out to warm up a bit, or only put the beer in the fridge for like an hour to chill it.

    Answer: I do both

    Edit: May have read that wrong...I rarely drink anything at room temp.
  10. draheim

    draheim Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I don't know if this is an accepted rule or anything, but I've generally found that the higher the ABV, the more I enjoy a beer at warmer temps (between cellar and room temp). But I like to start out hoppy beers and lagers pretty cold.
    ccbegg likes this.
  11. kingofhop

    kingofhop May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    I used to drink my IPAs at room temp, but now I like them slightly chilled, but not cold. Pilsners and AALs cold. Stouts, porters, Farmhouse ales, BSDA, barleywines at room temperature.
  12. jbertsch

    jbertsch Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    In terms of beers I drink at home, I like everything chilled (about 50F), not cold... but I'm ok with lighter styles and IPAs being a little cold.

    However I don't fuss about it when I'm out at an establishment that isn't beer focused, or when I'm handed a beer by a host, friend, etc. at their home
  13. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Nov 8, 2012 Missouri
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Took a little sip of this cold, pretty darn tasty. The warmer it got, the more amazing it became! I've got to learn to be a little more patient and give it about 5 to 10 minutes to take the chill off! (Pay no attention to the Busch Light in the background . . . not mine!:D)
  14. PsilohsaiBiN

    PsilohsaiBiN Aug 10, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Ice-cold beer is for swill drinkers.
    comfortablynirm and larryi86 like this.
  15. RyFikes

    RyFikes Jan 3, 2013 New York

    I've always thought that the lower the temperature the more flavor is lost, because you're essentially desensitizing your taste buds. Which is why you should drink something with a wide flavor profile such as a barley wine at room temperature and you should have a Coors light ice cold. The cooler temps obviously makes the beer much more refreshing so it's a bit of a balancing act that is all a matter of preference.
  16. BetterBeerPlz

    BetterBeerPlz Sep 8, 2007 Arkansas

    I like most of my beer chilled, not super cold.
  17. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    Keep it nice and cold. Take it out of the fridge about 30 min before I want to pour it. Then it's on!
  18. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Pretty much all the beers I drink spend 10-20min on the counter when I pull them out of the fridge before I start to drink them. Then I just enjoy them over about 20min (or more if it is a big stout/barleywine) so I can taste the beer at multiple temp levels to see how it changes.
  19. mscott1975

    mscott1975 Feb 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I recently left a Great Lakes Nosferatu on the counter for over an hour and couldn't believe the difference in flavor. Absolutely amazing. It was a totally different beer. Imperial stouts are better the warmer you allow them to get in my opinion. Founders Impy Stout is fantastic at room temp.
  20. MilkManX

    MilkManX Jul 10, 2012 Arizona

    Narwhal was amazing at near room temp. When I had one very cold you could not taste all the goodness.
  21. jtmartino

    jtmartino Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I get all my beers at colder serving temp and drink them as they warm up. That's the best way to do it with all beers, IMO.
  22. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Mar 18, 2010 California

    I pull my bottles from the fridge, and they naturally warm up as I drink them.
  23. zstef99

    zstef99 Dec 25, 2008 New York

    30 minutes on the counter or straight out of the cellar for stouts, quads, etc... maybe 10-15 minutes on the counter for IPAs.
  24. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Mar 19, 2012 California

    Same here. More so with dark beers than Pilsners or IPAs. I have no problem drinking beer at or near room temperature...
  25. CerealKillerKP

    CerealKillerKP May 24, 2009 Kentucky

    I enjoy lambics and other sours chilled more than other beers at room temperature.

  26. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Oct 4, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I treat it exactly like wine... the darker and higher quality it is, the warmer it should he served.
    Biffster likes this.
  27. Biffster

    Biffster Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    Basically, the more complex the beer, the more it benefits from warming. Most beers are actually better sampled and judged warmer - it reveals flaws in even the most neutral pilsner - no matter how it is meant to be served. But Ales in general, and bigger beers (which are most often ales anyway) reveal more of their esters and aromas when they are warmer.
  28. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Feb 22, 2011 California

    I generally take a beer out of the fridge, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before I pour it regardless of style. I do like my IPAs a little cooler than stouts/porters, but I never drink anything refridgerator cold. Most, if not all styles change as they warm.
  29. LostHighway

    LostHighway Jan 29, 2007 Maine

    I tend to like most beers at around 55F, give or take a few degrees. Pale lagers I might drink as cold as 45F but doppelbocks and Baltic Porters I drink at 50F+. Maybe if I lived in a much hotter climate I'd develop a taste for cold beers but here it just dulls the taste without making them any more refreshing.
  30. Andygirl

    Andygirl Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    My beer cellar is 50 degrees. I tend to take IPAs out and fridge before serving, the rest about cellar temp for serving.
  31. TokyoCO

    TokyoCO Jan 7, 2013 Colorado

    Thanks for all the replies! Letting IPAs warm up is something I haven't heard of before, I'll give it a try!
  32. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    Out of a mug? Really?
  33. Nectar

    Nectar Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    Havent met a single beer that drinks at its prime at fridge temp. (Excluding BMC stuff).

    The way I see it, my beer is like a woman. You've gotta warm her up first before you just dive in...
  34. vthippie

    vthippie Dec 18, 2012 Vermont

    I just wait for the mountains on the can to turn blue so I know it's as cold as the Rockies and then i take that sucker to poundtown.
  35. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    Generally speaking, I like higher gravity brews warmer than the rest, but they all have interesting flavors as they warm up.
  36. BrownAleMale

    BrownAleMale Dec 14, 2011 Wisconsin
    ¡Bad Trader! Beer Trader

    Anything barrel aged including oak. Also, saisions drink a lot better once warmed in my opinion. They ppen up a lot.
  37. keithmurray

    keithmurray Oct 7, 2009 New York

    I like to drink pilseners, IPAs and hefeweissens cold.
    Other styles, i like to drink as they warm up. Had a baltic porter the other night at room temp and it was divine, like drinking liquid brownie mix!
  38. studad

    studad Jun 9, 2010 California

    I find the beers that i like ( imp stouts, barlywines, dipa's, ipa's) are like cheese, too cold, blah. More flavor as they warm.
  39. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Guess I'm in the minority with some beers. Once an ipa gets warmer than the mid forties I find the malty flavors start to overwhelm the hops. Guess my "palate hasn't developed" or maybe I'm just "uneducated" when it comes to proper beer snobbery.

    Bigger beers I like to see between 40 and 45. Again, some brews become cloying above 50.
  40. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Jan 11, 2013 New York

    IPAs at room temperature? That's crazy talk
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!