The Great Warm English Ale Myth

This is among the most misunderstood and most common myths about beer; the idea that English Ales are served warm at room temperature. Please just understand that that is wrong. First of all, there is a great range of English Ale, and each will have their own specific temperature at which they will best be served at. This warm beer myth though originates from English Cask Ale – beer which is served directly for the vessel which is has been fermented and conditioned in.

It is true that Cask beer should be served warmer than your average ale or lager – but this still does not justify the warm beer myth. Room temperature is around 21C (70F), fridge temperature is around 4C (39F) – keep this in mind. Classic English Cask Ales should be served at Cellar Temperature, which is between 12 and 14C (54 to 57F) – some may insist that it should be served even warmer between 14 and 16C. In either case though this is far below room temperature. I think the reason that this misconception exists is because the majority of people spreading this rumor are drinking commodity grade beer, which is typically consumed right from the fridge, so you can’t taste all the preservatives and artificial ingredients that they contain.

When it comes down to it, every different beer style deserves its own serving temperature – so don’t get caught up in the lowest common denominator beers, they are lying to you.


One Response to The Great Warm English Ale Myth

  1. G-LO says:

    You just summed it up perfectly… commodity grade beer (most if not all is crap beer!) needs to be ice cold so that you don’t know how bad it actually is. What makes great beer great (for me at least), is that you can drink it casually and enjoy the taste knowing that it will taste just as good (and sometimes even better) when it comes up to room temperature.


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