Each beer has a preferred serving temperature determined by its style. A beer's flavour, aroma, texture, carbonation, head retention and even colour are affected by the temperature at which it is served. Understanding serving temperature maximizes your beer experience. Here are some suggested serving temperatures that can guide you:
Very cold, slightly colder than your fridge (0-4°C, 32-39°F): While certain beer styles, such as Canadian or American style lagers may be served in this temperature range, the serving temperature is cold enough to mute much of the beer's taste.
Cold, around fridge temperature (4-7°C, 39-45°F): This range is more appropriate for beer designed to quench and refresh. Typically, light bodied beer with high carbonation will serve well at this temperature. Hefeweizen, weissebier, wit and other wheat beers, Kölsch, premium lager, Pilsner, European strong lager, American dark lager, sweetened fruit lambics and some Belgian pale ales will suite this temperature range perfectly.
Cool, out of your fridge for fifteen minutes (8-12°C, 45-54°F): This temperature range is best suited for beer with perhaps a richer body and aromatic properties and more complex and layered flavours. The types of beer that should be served in this temperature range can quench and refresh, but are also an excellent choice to compliment your dinner table. American pale ale, sweet stout, dry stout, porter, English golden ale, unsweetened Lambic, Belgian ale, Bohemian Pilsner, dunkel, helles, Vienna lager, schwarzbier, smoked beer, altbier, Belgian tripel, Irish ale and fresh cider are all perfect served within this temperature range.
Cellar cool, out of your fridge for thirty minutes (12-14°C, 54-57°F): Beer styles served in this temperature range are often filled to the brim with flavour. This temperature range is suitable for beer styles that, if served colder, their flavours would be muted or lost. English bitters, brown ale, India pale ale, English strong ale, Saison, old ales, unblended Lambic, sour ale, Baltic porter, spiced beer, abbey dubbel, Belgian strong ale, bock, kellerbier, Scotch Ale, American strong ales, English cider and many stouts will be perfect served within this temperature range.
Warm, out of your fridge for one hour (14-16°C, 57-61°F): This temperature range is not quite room temperature, which is around 21°C, but is significantly warmer than right out of the fridge. It should be reserved for big beer with massive flavours and often higher alcohol percentages. Barley wine, Belgian quadrupel, imperial stout, double IPA, imperial IPA, doppelbock, winter beer, eisbock and mead should all be served within this temperature range.
Hot, heated close to the temperature of tea (70°C, 158°F): Yes, you read correctly, hot. Not many types of beer fit into this temperature range, but some beer is intended to be served piping hot. Heat is not something most people are accustomed to when drinking beer, but heat will bring out the beer's flavour and aromatics.