Being a person who has had a lot of beer in Europe, friends in America often ask if they really drink hot beer there. Since Americans like their beer almost to freezing and then served in an ice cold mug, they cannot imagine how you can drink beer that is not ice cold. The fact is that Europeans drink their beer less icy, say, than the American. This article will explore some of the reasons for this and shed some light on what we Americans call “hot beer.”
According to experts, both beer and red wine should be consumed at a slightly lower than normal room temperature. That is if those drinks are of high quality. If they are of the highest quality, we want to get as much flavor out of them as possible. If they lack quality or are downright poor, to make them drinkable they must be as cold as you can. Europeans will tell you that most American beer is served cold for that reason.
Although serving temperatures for beer vary from country to country, they are served warmer than the US Specific brewing temperatures for ales are typically 52-63 ° F and lagers 40-48 ° F. This can vary between brewers, but those temperatures are where you can get the most flavors out of beer, even if it’s not what most Americans are used to. Remember that beer in Europe has a long-standing culture, and even if American brewers originally came from Europe at the time beer was produced by volume, not quality.
Also, American beers can be very carbonated, which further masks the flavor but gives it a nice tingle. In Europe, beer is beer itself, and you could never remember a quality beer in Europe that carbonated your drink.
So to wrap up this short lesson on European beers and why they’re not as cold as American beers, let’s mention perhaps the most famous European beer: Guinness. Made in Dublin, it is also served cold. But if you have a Guinness in the UK I am sure you will notice that it is richer and I think with more body. It’s still good in America and other parts of the world, but Americans drink their Foreign Extra Stout. If you are ever in Europe, you should give it a try there as I am sure you will find this much better than the American version.