Most beers have an ideal serving temperature, but as a general rule, the temperature at which to serve a beer is correlated to the strength of the beer. As beers go up in alcohol, they are generally drunk at a warmer temperature. This is because stronger beers often are sipped slowly, and enjoyed for their complexity of flavour and aroma while weaker beers are often consumed for refreshment.
To experience all the smells and tastes that the brewer wants you to, cask ale must be dispensed at the correct temperature. If the beer is too warm unpleasant and unplanned aromas will be given off, too cold and the clean, fresh, vibrant tastes will be lost.
The recommended dispense temperature of the majority of brewers is between 11 – 13°C. Cask Marque audits to a required range of 10-14°C allowing a little leeway.
Some cask ales are meant to be dispensed at lower temperatures, particularly summer beers. These have been specially brewed in order that no chill haze ocurrs at temperatures where other cask ales might be affected.
Standard Lagers & Keg Products
Standard lagers and keg should be dispensed between 5 – 8°C.
Extra Cold Products
The trend these days is towards colder products and many pubs and bars will be using glycol cooling systems and flash coolers in order to dispense ‘extra cold’ products. These are normally dispensed between 0 – 5°C depending on the equipment.
Bottled beers should be served at between 4 – 6°C.