A while back, I went to one of my local brewpubs and tried a dunkel. It was a charming beer and it photographed well.
The tasting notes described “toasted bread crumb and almond with hints of chocolate” which I got, but only as the beer warmed up. Some vigorous swirling in my mouth did the trick until the beer reached its optimum temperature, about 15-20 minutes into the pint.
Which did get me to thinking: do you serve beer at the correct temperature for the initial taste, or do you aim below optimum temperature, and hope your beer reaches optimal by mid-pint or so? I imagine that much of the answer to this question depends on the type of beer, the time of year, and the size of the pour (in July, you probably want your ‘Mexican-style lagers’ close to optimal temperature for the first sip; in December, I’d imagine a pint of a 10% winter warmer can be served a bit below optimum temperature, even if that optimum temperature is on the high side to begin with). But I don’t have a definitive answer, and now I have something to research.
One thought on “A tale of temperature”
A thing I’ve learned about myself is that I generally like beers on the cold side, even those that suggest they are best at 50 degrees or higher. So I usually start colder and let things warm up. Once I am acclimated to the beer, it’s generally ok at a warmer temperature, but I know if my first sip is at that temp, bleach. My only consistent exception is cask ale, but I get that so rarely, it’s barely an exception.