Effects of temperature on beer appearance, aroma and taste
Friday, Nov 15th 2013

Many adults of legal drinking age appreciate a frosty beer now and again. However, if beverages are not stored or served at the correct temperature, the enjoyable experience of drinking a beer can be adversely affected.

According to recent numbers reported by the Wall Street Journal, American beer sales are steadily increasing. In 2012, the number of beer shipments in the country rose by 1.9 percent, totaling 141.4 million barrels. This comes after three consecutive years of falling beer sales, illustrating a return to beverages based on malt, hops and yeast.

Temperature affects taste, appearance of beer 
However, according to CraftBeer, if beers are not stored or served at the proper temperature, the taste and overall experience of the drink can suffer. The source recommends that beer should not be served in frosted glasses, as  these vessels can cause a beer to become too cold. When beverage temperature is too low, it is more difficult for the drinker to smell the beer's aroma, and also lessens the potent taste of the beverage. Additionally, frosted glasses can cause extensive and unnecessary foaming as well as ice chips to form. Beer should be served in room temperature glasses, and the correct temperature can be achieved through storage methods.

In addition, Micro Matic stated that if beer is not stored at the correct temperature, it could appear cloudy and taste sour. Additionally, according to CraftBeer, beer can have a papery taste or smell when stored at the improper temperature. This is due to the fact that beer, like many other consumable goods, can grow bacteria when proper temperature is not maintained. According to Micro Matic, beer storage is comparative to milk storage, in that if the beverage is not kept within the best temperature range, the drink will spoil.

Optimum temperature for beer
Beverage expert  Andrew Dornenburg recently told MLive that temperature can have a significant effect on a beverage.

"Temperature is far more important than it typically gets credit as being when it comes to flavor," Dornenburg told the news source.

To keep in line with Micro Matic's advice to prevent drinks from spoiling and satisfy customers, a temperature monitoring system is incredibly important for any establishment that stores or serves beer. This technology can include temperature sensors inside of storage units, as well as high temperature alarms that notify personnel when levels reach a predetermined setting. 

Beer sommelier and restaurant owner Sang Yoon told MLive that more often than not, beer is served too cold. While this may not have as noticeable an effect on mainstream beverages, aromatic beers including pale ales and Belgian ales should be served at slightly higher temperatures. Pale ales are best served at 40 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit and Belgian ales only release aromas once they reach 50 degrees.

However, when it comes to storage of these beverages, Micro Matic stated that ales and lagers should be stored between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. When stored at higher temperatures, carbon dioxide forms in the beer, affecting the appearance and taste. According to Beer Advocate, a general rule of thumb for beer storage temperature monitoring is that beers with higher alcohol levels should be stored at slightly higher temperatures. Those with less alcohol content can be stored at cooler levels. However, it is important that these levels be consistently maintained so that beverage temperature does not fluctuate. For this reason, many suppliers also utilize temperature monitoring within beverage transportation as well. In this way, the beer remains at a constant level from creation, to storage, to being placed in front of the drinker.