Written by Clint Carter for menshealth.com
MYTH #1: Beer is best served as cold as possible
FACT: Flavor emerges with a bit of warmth
We’ve been duped by the Big Beer’s ad campaigns. Consider the ice-frosted mugs, ubiquitous use of the phrase “ice cold,” or—perhaps most obnoxious—Coors Light’s “cold-activated” bottles and cans. (When the beer is cold enough, the mountains on the label “activate” by morphing from white to blue.) Fellas, this is ruining otherwise good beer.
“You lose aromatics when you serve beer too cold,” says Dave Engbers, co-owner of Founders Brewing Co., adding that beer is best consumed between 46 and 50°F.
“Typically beer is dispensed from the draft line between 38 and 42 degrees,” he says. “So just cup the glass for a couple minutes with your hands and you’ll warm it to the right temperature.”
Then you’ll actually taste beer—not the taste-bud numbing effect of near-frozen liquid.
MYTH #2: Bottled beer is better than canned beer
FACT: Nothing maintains freshness as well as a can
There are two primary concerns with storing beer in bottles: oxygen and light. “Bottles aren’t perfect,” says Charles Bamforth, Ph.D., author and professor of malting and brewing sciences at The University of California-Davis. “With time, oxygen coming in under the cap will make your beer taste like cardboard, and light coming in through the glass will turn it skunky.”
The worst bottles are those with clear glass (like Corona’s) and twist-off caps (like nearly every mass-market American lager). “Sealed aluminum is just better at keeping out oxygen and light,” he says.
Don’t like the feel of the can? Fine—just pour the brew into a glass. That’s the best way to consume good beer anyway.
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