Instead Daniel Kahn, brew master for Buckbean Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Reno, Nevada, says all beer should be served at 55-degrees Fahrenheit. "Because when it's too cold it numbs your taste buds, which in turn affects how you taste the flavors - or really, how you don't taste them," he explains.
So throw out what you know about a frosty mug of beer, to completely appreciate the vast array of brews being produced today let them warm a couple of degrees.
The Brewers Association classifies beers into two categories: ales - where the yeast ferments on top examples include IPA, pale ale, porter, stout - and lagers - where the yeast ferments on the bottom as in pilsners, Bocks or dark lagers.
Kahn knows a lot about both types. His two-year-old brewery began by producing one of each: a Bavarian Schwarz bier Lager called Black Noddy Lager and zesty ale called Original Orange Blossom Ale. These are beers that offer huge flavors; they're meant to be sipped, not chugged. Chilling them too much does more than numb your taste buds, "If you serve your beer too cold the gases don't release and you miss out on the aromas, which also affects taste." He says the next time you have a beer - or eat anything for that matter - plug your nose. You'll find your sense of smell is responsible for a lot of the flavor.
And that in turn leads to those big guys - the ones who have tapped the Rockies and parade around a team of Clydesdales. Kahn says the reason they include a "cold activated label" is so you don't notice what's lacking, "If you served them at warmer temps you'd then taste the complete lack of taste and flavor in them. When served cold nobody knows the difference."
But, no one knows more about drinking a pint than the British who serve their beer at room temperature. Buckbean's Kahn says that's slightly inaccurate. It's true they don't ice their beers like Americans, instead they store them in cellars, "It's not going to be warm by any means. Basically they don't make the extra effort to cool their beers like we do."
So go ahead and enjoy a few cold ones, just not too cold.