Most drinkers love ice cold beer, that is a fact. Some may not like it as much, but the general belief is that beer is best served cold. It tastes heavenly when it’s chilled.
Different types of beer taste better at different temperatures and depending on individuals. The majority, however, do prefer it ice-cold.
Who doesn’t love ice cold beer? The tastes could be attributed to the chemical compounds in beers. Those create the aromas and flavors that are affected or activated by temperatures. According to beer consultant and educator Gary Valentine,…
“If I’m drinking a High Life, I want it to be cold because I don’t want to taste it. Otherwise, if you have a beer you want to taste, it should be above at least 43 degrees.” (Chicago Tribune)
Here are the general guidelines for the different beer types, by the way:
- 35–40°F (2–4°C): Mass-market light lagers
- 40–45°F (4–7°C): Czech and German Pilsners, Munich Helles, wheat beers, and Kölsch
- 45–50°F (7–10°C): IPAs, American pale ales, porters, and most stouts
- 50–55°F (10–13°C): Belgian ales, sour ales, Bocks, English bitters and milds, Scottish Ales
- 55–60°F (13–16°C): Barleywines, imperial stouts, Belgian strong ales, and Doppelbocks
Still, beer drinkers could argue that they like their beer cold for the taste. Moreover, most people prefer their beer ice-cold because they find it quite refreshing (though the fact is it has dehydrating qualities). That could be really nice on warm, sunny days or in places with a typically hot weather.
What States Love
It is interesting to see how much states love their cold beers. This is a list of some states and their beers of preference.
Alaska: Alaskan Amber – Amber ale, 5.3%
California: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – Pale ale, 5.6%
Delaware: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA – IPA, 6%
Florida: Cigar City Jai Alai – IPA, 7.5%
Georgia: Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale – Pale ale, 5.4%
Hawaii: Maui Bikini Blonde – Lager, 5.2%
Idaho: Grand Teton Sweetgrass – Pale ale, 6%
Kentucky: Alltech Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – English strong ale, 8.3%
Massachusetts: Sam Adams Boston Lager – Vienna lager, 4.9%
New York: Genesee Cream Ale – Cream ale, 5.1%
Oklahoma: Prairie Artisan Ales BOMB! – Imperial stout, 13%
Pennsylvania: Yuengling Traditional Lager – Lager, 4.4%
Rhode Island: Narragansett Lager – Lager, 5%
South Carolina: Westbrook Gose – Gose, 4%
Texas: Shiner Bock – Dark lager, 4.4%
Utah: Uinta Cutthroat Pale Ale – Pale ale, 4%
Virginia: Hardywood VIPA – IPA, 5.2%
Washington: Fremont Summer Ale – Summer ale, 5.2%
This is obviously an incomplete list. However, the preferences will show how much people in every state prefer their beers cold.
How to Keep Beer Cold
There are various and creative ways to keep beer cold especially when outdoors. Check them all out below.
Do some old-fashioned chilling
Submerge the surface of the beer in ice-cold water. Everyone knows the drill.
Give the bottles a bath
Find large, water-tight containers (bucket, bathtub, cooler…) with very cold water. They should be thick and better-insulated. Place the drinks in the solution. Add ice, if possible. Apply convection by stirring for two to five minutes. Water and ice mix should be, at least, 50/50. Seal the container well to retain the temperature and slow down the melting of ice.
Meanwhile, leaving the beers exposed outside while it is raining and it’s especially cold can chill the beers enough. The effect isn’t as good as that of the submersion method.
Already-cold drinks stay colder longer. So one solution is to pre-chill the beer as well as the cooler.
Just in case the drinks are at room temperature, find a damp cloth or paper towel, wrap them around the drinks, and put them in the freezer for as long as 15 minutes. Unwrap after.
Pack them right
Here’s how to pack drinks: Drinks in the cooler first, then the ice follows. The idea behind this is simple — cold air goes downwards. Do bring along block ice instead of crushed ice. Both can cool beverages fast, but the former does it so much longer.
Use the Salt-Ice-Water Combo
Melted ice (or cold water now, to be more correct) from the cooler has the ability to insulate drinks even better than ice. That means, don’t go throwing away the water! In fact, here’s one more thing to do: add salt to the ice-water and mix. Salt lowers the water’s freezing temperature. That will surely make more wonders. Try it!
If there are no foam beverage sleeves or anything made of foam, use a rolled-up face cloth as beer can cozies. Humid weather increases condensation. Foam keeps condensation from forming outside the bottle/can. The face cloth as cozy can also provide the necessary insulation.
If cozies are not possible, perhaps try finding an insulated bottle. Decant the drinks into it.
Try technology hacks
To some extent, the following work:
Whiskey stones – solid soapstones that are said to chill liquor without diluting it; best used in glasses
Chill Puck – hockey puck-shaped disc placed on the underside of a can; “uses ‘NASA-designed equipment’ originally used for chilling nuclear reactors in cold war-era satellites”; sucks the heat from the can
Chillsner – beer bottle chiller that is basically a pre-chilled, thermal gel-filled aluminum rod inserted into the bottle when needed; it has a drink-thru spout to allow drinking while chilling the beer
While these do work, it is still currently debatable how effective they really are especially in keeping beer ice-cold.
Sock it and chill naturally
Use the bodies of cool water around (like lake, river, and creek) if you’re outdoors. They are often naturally colder than the air in places that aren’t typically warm. Wrap the beer in a sock, submerge in water (make sure it’s secure), wait for 10 minutes, and voila! If you don’t have extra socks, though, be prepared to go sockless for a while.
A better alternative is to tie the beers into a net or a bag, submerge into water, and push into the sand. Again, keep them secure to prevent them from getting swept downstream.
Wedge or bury
Wedge the beers into the snow and wait for half an hour. Leave them in the shade and away from the sun. Also, make sure they are safe from passing people who may not be able to notice the beers. If the beers are buried beneath the surface, mark the spot to find them again faster.
Moist soil is another way to do it. Bury beers in it. Better if the soil is near bodies of cool water. If not, pouring water onto the ground would do the trick. Cooling beers this way may not be that fast, but it can keep them cold longer. If it’s a warm and sunny day, it can be very effective.
Make a clay pot fridge
Use evaporative cooling, which is…
“reduction in temperature resulting from the evaporation of a liquid, which removes latent heat from the surface from which evaporation takes place. This process is employed in industrial and domestic cooling systems…” (Dictionary.com)
The idea is to put the beers inside a clay pot, which is placed in a larger clay pot that can hold it with at least a half-inch of clearance. The smaller pot is insulated by sand layered by an inch under it and poured into the clearance around it, filling up all the space between the pots. Fine-grit river sand insulates best. The pot bottoms are plugged (by clay, for instance) to retain the sand.
Make the sand damp (not muddy!) by pouring in and letting soak ice-cold water all the way around. Put a thermometer in the empty pot and wait till it’s 50 degrees or lower. Then put the bottles in to start cooling. Check the beers every hour or so.
Cover the top with cold, wet towel. The water will evaporate while the pot cools inside.
Keep beer constantly cool!
Anyway, a drinker who just wants to chill with a chilled beer at home can definitely do that without doing much. Just touch the tap and let the beer pour down a glass. That’s possible with a kegerator around. So if the methods shared above are not enough to convince, get a kegerator.
Keg Fridge can help choose the kegerator best-fitted to anyone. Choose from a variety of products/designs based on style and personal preferences. There are digital beer keg coolers, full-size one- and dual-tap kegerators, compact all refrigerators, and ultra-low temperature refrigerators. There are beer tap conversion kits available as well.
For any concerns or questions, send them through KegFridge.com cause like you, we also love an ice cold beer. Don’t be shy! We’re cool.