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Shifting gears to the wider flavor spectrum of beers

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Shifting gears to the wider flavor spectrum of beers and craft beers out there, we findthat flavors are actually in abundance and the goal of serving temperature is to enhance,rather than mask. But it isn’t just a matter of arctic vs room temp. As withglassware, it’sabout what is right for what style of beer.A basic rule of thumb is higher alcohol, higher complexity beers should be served athigher temperatures, while lower alcohol and/or lower complexity beers are better atlower temperatures (stopping well short of frigidity). Color also is a roughly useful
indicator of serving temp, with lighter colored beers doing better at lower temps, anddarker beers doing better at warmer temps.Of course, when we say warm, we’re not really talking about “room temperature.” Noone drinks beer that warm, not even the Brits, who instead more often drink beer atcellar temperature, around 55 F. The range for beer drinking is basically between 40F and60F. To keep it simple, here’s a basic spectrum of appropriate temperatures for some ofyour favorite beers. (Bear in mind, personal preference always trumps recommendations.)40 and below: best reserved for mass-marketed, “lite,” and otherwise one-dimensionalrefreshment beers40 to 45: lagers, German Pilsners, wheat beers, Kolsch, lighter fruit beers, American darklagers, lighter in profile but with more available complexity45 to 50: American pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts, Bohemian pilsner, English golden ale,Belgian ale, Spanish and French cider, unsweetened lambics and gueuzes50 to 55: Bocks, English beers (bitters and milds), Scottish ales, Brown ale, saison, Abbeydubbel55 to 60: stronger beers like Imperials, dopplebocks, barleywines6.7.7.4 Skunked BeerPepe Le Pew preferred wine. So what’s all this reference to “skunked” beer?It’s actually pretty simple, and yes, a fairly accurate comparison. Skunked is a term weuse when referringto beer that’s been compromised by exposure to UV rays. (Thetechnical term is, appropriately, “lightstruck.”) When that bottle of beer is opened—andskunked beer only happens in bottles—there will be an unmistakable aroma of “skunk,”which may or may not influence your desire to drink or discard the beer.The reason only bottled beer can be skunked is because UV rays can only reach the beerthrough glass bottles. Brown bottles do the best job at protecting the beer (about fourtimes more protected),while green bottles are more susceptible, and clear glass bottlesare (clearly) the most susceptible to skunking. While humans can slather on the SPF 50and wear hats the size of small boats, we can’t quite do the same for our beer. Sure, wecould put all of our beer in cans or brown bottles, but the industry is made up ofhundreds of breweries, each with its own entrenched marketing and branding. Greenglass and even clear glass bottles are not about to go away.

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Term
Summer
Professor
STARLETCALIWAN
Tags
Alcoholic beverage, beverage service industry, Front Bar

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