Craft Beer Sign

What is the Perfect Beer Drinking Temperature?

We here at Beer Can Fishing are by no means snobs that must have the perfect glass, pour, head, etc. on our beverages before we guzzle them down. However, a little knowledge about the proper temperature to serve a beer never hurt anyone, especially if it makes your taste buds happy.

What is the best temperature to serve a beer?

The short answer is beer should be served between 35-55 degrees Fahrenheit for the best taste. It may shock you to realize that any brew should be served over 40 degrees because of all the light beer education through marketing we have received over the years. We previously did a post on how Coors Light skyrocketed their brand with their unique cold-activated cans and messaging, "Cold as the Rockies." This is by design from the company because light brews actually do taste better at a colder temperature.

Why should light beers be drank cold?

Once you crack that can, beer looses carbonation very quickly and is the main reason why lagers should be served ice-cold. The low temperatures amplify the landmark tingling sensation of carbonation. As the beer warms and flattens, and the apparent lack of any dynamic flavors can no longer be masked with the carbonation effect. Drink your typical light, lagers, pilsners and kölsch beers at a temperature just above the freezing point of 35-38 degrees and this is consistent with how draft beer systems dispense. Any warmer or colder and your brew will have a lot of foam or frothy head when you pour a draft or open a can. For other types of craft beers, you should open the can and serve them at this same 35-38 degree temperature but let them warm for a few minutes before you indulge.

What beers should be drank at a warmer temperature?

Craft beer pints

Craft beers with more ingredients lead to more flavors that can handle a warmer drinking temperature. The general rule is the more ingredients, darker or more alcohol the higher the degree it can be enjoyed. See below for a list of recommended styles that pair well with a certain level of warmth.

Beer temperature serving chart:
Beer style
Suggested temperature

Light, lager, pilsner and kölsch beers

35-38 degrees

Blonde ale, cream ale and wheat beers

40-45 degrees

Dark or strong lager, porter, stout, sour, pale ale and India pale ales

45-50 degrees

Belgian dubbels, Scottish ale, imperial stout, cask ales, barley wines

50-55 degrees

Beer temperature drinking tips:
  • Don't drink out of frosted mugs – Freezing glassware to keep a beer cold longer usually leads to the glassware picking up undesirable odors from the freezer which negatively impacts the taste. Additionally, the ice formed on the glass messes with the frothy foam formation when it is poured. Have you ever seen someone take rub their finger on their face and dip it into their drink to reduce the head? This is the same effect where introducing another element changes the foam reaction
  • Capacity of the glass – If you are pouring an easy drinking beer a large size glass or boot will work just fine, as long as you plan on consuming it pretty fast. For typical consumption a pint glass is preferable because the beer will not get too warm over the time it takes to finish drinking it
  • Try to serve just a bit colder than the optimal temperature for the style – To offset the warming effect of your hands and outside temperature
  • Easily bring a beer up to temperature – Simply hold the glass with your hands for a short bit to help it reach the desired temperature
  • Serve strong craft beers in smaller glassware – Not only because these styles are particularly high in alcohol, but also because it should take you longer to drink them and they may get too far out of the suggested warm temperature before you finish

The moral of the story is if you are playing Beer Can Fishing, you should still use a cooler or ice bath for all your drinks no matter what. Once you fish out your mystery beverage, maybe open those stronger beers and let them rest for a moment before you chug it down.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3