Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Keep your silly frosted mugs!"

John Carroll (aka John the OFM) at The Miniatures Page (another forum I haunt) wrote this the other day:
Keep your silly frosted mug! That's why you need a frosted mug if you are drinking a Coors Light, or a Miller Lite. They have no flavor to begin with, so you may as well throw an ice cube in too.

I promptly informed him that he has NEVER BEEN MORE WRONG! Those beers do have flavor... it's just bad.  Very, very, very bad!

That's right, apparently I'm a Beer Snob. In that same forum a few weeks back, a few of the fellers were saying that the best beer is cold and free. I had to reply that, of course, no it isn't. This lead to challenges that I wouldn't turn down a free beer in the heat of summer, and everyone who knows me said that not only would I, but many had seen it. In fact, it happened at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last night (well, sort of... trust me, there was no free beer to be had). Budweiser is a sponsor of the event, so for the most part they sell Bud Light and an assortment of their product. I sipped on a Diet Coke until I found a place that had a few offerings I could stomach: I settled for a $9 glass of Ziegenbock. It's not one of my favorites, but at least its drinkable.

Speaking of the Rodeo, I had a great time. The bareback riding and bull riding were great, and the calf scramble is always fun to watch. And if you've never seen Reba McEntire sing "Fancy" live, then you're seriously missing something great.


But back to John's comment about frosted mugs: Funny he should mention this, as I was talking to some of my wife's kinfolk this weekend about the effects of temperature on beer flavors. As you might expect, a single beer tastes very different at different temperatures. In my beer-tasting adventures, I have actually found a few brews that are, indeed, better when served ice-cold in a frosty mug. But these are the exception and not the rule. I have found that most beers are better and more aromatic when they are not ice cold but are not warm. Most seem to be good in the 40-50 degree range. I'm actually going to start measuring temperatures while I drink them to narrow down the range and impose a bit more science into my observations.

I don't think I'm going to go back and do any additional reporting or studying on this (okay, maybe as an excuse to drink some more of the good beers I've already had the pleasure of imbibing), but if I'm drinking at home I will have access to a thermometer, so I plan to take some readings here and there to see what I find out.

Stay tuned as I drink beer in the name of science!

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