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Old 11th October 2010, 12:52 PM   #1
Cainkane1
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Why do Americans like their beer cold?

On occassion I talk to a Brit or german working here in Atlanta ga. They don't like their beer as cold as we do. Theres nothing wrong with drinking room temperature beer but I like it cold myself. I talked to a Polish girl at my watering hole and she told me that some cultures like their beer warm enough to steam a bit.

Here in the American southeast I can understand. It gets darn hot here so we drink cold soda, iced tea and we prefer our beer as cold as we can get it without it actually freezing.

Ok Most caucasian americans ancestors come from England, Germany etc. Why do we like it as coold as we do? What changed us?
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Old 11th October 2010, 12:54 PM   #2
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I think the real question is "Why do people from other parts of the world like their beer at the wrong temperature?"
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Old 11th October 2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
On occassion I talk to a Brit or german working here in Atlanta ga. They don't like their beer as cold as we do. Theres nothing wrong with drinking room temperature beer but I like it cold myself. I talked to a Polish girl at my watering hole and she told me that some cultures like their beer warm enough to steam a bit.

Here in the American southeast I can understand. It gets darn hot here so we drink cold soda, iced tea and we prefer our beer as cold as we can get it without it actually freezing.

Ok Most caucasian americans ancestors come from England, Germany etc. Why do we like it as coold as we do? What changed us?
American beer doesn't taste very good, so you have to drink it cold.

And it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle; when you make your beer to be served cold, it doesn't need to taste very good, so you might as well use cheap(er) ingredients and less of them.

And somewhere along that line lies things like "making love in a canoe" American pilsener.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
American beer doesn't taste very good, so you have to drink it cold.

And it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle; when you make your beer to be served cold, it doesn't need to taste very good, so you might as well use cheap(er) ingredients and less of them.

And somewhere along that line lies things like "making love in a canoe" American pilsener.
Well American micro breweries make decent beer nowadays. If your talking Pabst Blue Ribbon or Budweiser or Miller high life sure its very mediocre. However I think the smaller breweries make a good product. Bass

Also Americans like their imported beer cold also. Guiness stout is usually cold as is Bass ale or Newcastle Brown ale and many other good imported beers. Americans drink that cold also. I personally think that the Sierra Nevada brewery makes great beer and ale. Theres also a loocal brewery here in Atlanta that makes a well crafted lager called sweetwater 420.

I drink a lot of imports and micro brews and I know what I like. I don't buy low end crap like Bud or Pabst. I drink my beer cold out of habit.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:07 PM   #5
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We just do. We drink imports and microbrews cold too. We like cold beer. That's what we like.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
American beer doesn't taste very good, so you have to drink it cold.

The worst selection of ale I've ever had was when I went to England. I was absolutely shocked how bad it all was. Flat, Utah approved alcohal volumes, and a severe lack of hops.

Quote:
And it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle; when you make your beer to be served cold, it doesn't need to taste very good, so you might as well use cheap(er) ingredients and less of them.

And somewhere along that line lies things like "making love in a canoe" American pilsener.
Mass produced **** beer is mass produced **** beer. Not even worth comparing them. Let's compare American craft beers to English or anywhere else craft beers and see how they actually do.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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Generally I prefer warmer beers, I like to be able to taste them.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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I like mine cold enough to be on the verge of icing over. Steaming hot beer? It's drinkable, but I don't think it's something I'd look forward to doing.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Interesting. It seems people who like beer warm have the impression that you couldn't taste the beer if it were cold. I like beer cold, and I don't think I would taste it right if it were room temperature or cold.

Maybe, we drink the beer the same way as when we first had it, and think of it as the right "way". Maybe I'll have a warm beer tonight to mix things up.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
On occassion I talk to a Brit or german working here in Atlanta ga. They don't like their beer as cold as we do. Theres nothing wrong with drinking room temperature beer but I like it cold myself.

I've been to many countries all over the world and been with locals to the places they go. I have yet to be served the mythical warm or room temperature beer in any of them. This includes Germany, England and Scotland.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
I've been to many countries all over the world and been with locals to the places they go. I have yet to be served the mythical warm or room temperature beer in any of them. This includes Germany, England and Scotland.

Yeah, me too. I was wondering the point of this thread, in light of my own experience. Even in England, the beer I've been served was just as cold as I'm accustomed too.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:31 PM   #12
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I believe 52 degrees F is the ideal temperature for a beer.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by IMST View Post

The worst selection of ale I've ever had was when I went to England. I was absolutely shocked how bad it all was. Flat, Utah approved alcohal volumes, and a severe lack of hops.



Mass produced **** beer is mass produced **** beer. Not even worth comparing them. Let's compare American craft beers to English or anywhere else craft beers and see how they actually do.
I don't know about the beer in britain except I like what I've had. I'm sure there are good microbrews in Seattle and to tell you the truth Georgia has good microbrewed beer. The Terripin brewery in Athens Ga makes beer so good it will spoil you especially if you go to a tasting at the brewery itself. I appreciate experimentating with different ingredients and their wheat and barley beer is great. Their maize beer was interesting although I wouldn't want to buy it. I od appreciate the effort though. Making beer from sweet corn and adding a lot of hops to the malt made a product at least worth an interesting conversation..

Drkiitten is wrong about American beer these days. Brits here are getting used to the cold beer and I believe during the hot summer months we have here they actually prefer it despite themselves. Cold beer is refreshing. You get hot and sweaty and a cold one hits the spot.

Budweiser is feeling the pinch of microbreweries and they are making better quality beer themselves. One of the best brew pubs I have ever been too has a retired Budweiser brewmaster and her exact words when she retired was this. Now I can make the good stuff and she proceded to do that very thing. Her beer is cold and served in cold glasses.


Ok this is the way I like it. It can be a lager or an ale or a stout. I enjoy a good cold beer.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:33 PM   #14
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I don't drink ANYTHING at icy temperature. I always ask waiters at restaurants "No ice in my water, please" (good way to tell how attentive waitstaff is -- do they bring subsequent refills with or without ice?).

When the weather is very hot, ice-cold drink is actually not good for you as it administers shock to your throat -- tepid water (or whatever) is much healthier. And when it is not hot out -- why would you want to freeze yourself?

I liked icy drinks when I was a kid -- I lost taste for it in boot camp, where all water was tepid for the above reason (it was August in Texas). And I never drink any beer other than microbrews. Beer at bars is always cold, and I ask for a not chilled glass. Ends up just right as far as I am concerend.
Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
And somewhere along that line lies things like "making love in a canoe" American pilsener.
What on Earth is that supposed to mean? (I had made love in a canoe, and still have no idea )
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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@mark6 Type "making love in a canoe" in to Google. Press the "I'm feeling lucky" button.
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Old 11th October 2010, 01:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I'm sure there are good microbrews in Seattle and to tell you the truth Georgia has good microbrewed beer. The Terripin brewery in Athens Ga makes beer so good it will spoil you especially if you go to a tasting at the brewery itself.
If I'm ever in town I'll make a point of giving it a go.
Around Seattle there are several popular craft brewries (not so much micro: they make a lot) Mac & Jack's African Amber is quite possibly my favorite beer. Lazy Boy is either very new or very newly getting good distribution, but I absolutely love what they're putting out. Redhook is the big daddy around here. You should be able to find their very tasty but not spectacular ESB most anywhere in the US.
There's a bunch more, but those are the ones I drink a lot of. Pyramid is rather popular and big, but I'm not a huge fan. Portland has a great craft brewing scene as well.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:04 PM   #17
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I hate that canoe joke, because it is just stupid. Beer is always mostly water, and doesn't matter how strong or thick it tastes; you are always looking at around 85% water or more. If it was less water than that than it wouldn't be beer anymore. There is a limitation to the amount of alcohol that can be produced from fermentation, and all those flavor and thickness of say a stout is mostly an illusion; it is still mostly water.

I just hate the joke, because it really isn't that clever even if it supposed to be about taste. I say because most people who tell it to me don't understand that process of making beer, could tell me the difference between a lager and ale. Couldn't tell me the difference between pale ale and Canadian pilsner.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:08 PM   #18
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6-8 C, above is cow-piss.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:09 PM   #19
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It's a complete myth that Brits like their beer warm. I worked in many pubs to supplement my income as a student, to the point where I was made a cellarman - a position that was the subject of endearment in the days before Joseph Fritzl.

I can tell you that bitters and milds taste best at 55F, according to those with the tastebuds; cellars are constructed to maintain a temperature of around this mark. I admit that i prefer them slightly cooler. Ales are best served at the brewers recommendation, this never exceeds room temperature - ever. It is usually normal cellar temperature.

Lagers taste best cold, even the best lagers suffer at anything above about 50F. Pretty much every pub in the UK is equipped to serve beer at 34-39F in addition to normal cellar temperature using exactly the same equipment found in any bar in the US.

We take beer very seriously over here. It irks us when people say we're doing it wrong.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GracefullyTalentless View Post
We take beer very seriously over here. It irks us when people say we're doing it wrong.
Why was damn near every ale I tried, and in two weeks touring with a band I drank almost nothing else and never had the same one twice, at near 3% alcohal? Why did all but 1 that I tried seem to completely lack hops?

I know you guys take your beer very seriously, but despite that I have to say you seem to be doing it wrong.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by IMST View Post
Why was damn near every ale I tried, and in two weeks touring with a band I drank almost nothing else and never had the same one twice, at near 3% alcohal? Why did all but 1 that I tried seem to completely lack hops?

I know you guys take your beer very seriously, but despite that I have to say you seem to be doing it wrong.
Seriously? What were you drinking, and how long ago was this? You'd be very hard pressed to find a 3% ABV beer in Britain. Most bitter sold in pubs or supermarkets is in the 4% - 5% range.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:36 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
American beer doesn't taste very good, so you have to drink it cold.
Stop fixating on that Bud and Corona piss and find some microbreweries. A lot of them make good beer, and some of them make fantastic beer.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
American beer doesn't taste very good, so you have to drink it cold.
This also just in: blacks are crooks, Mexicans are lazy, and white people can't dance.

There is a lot of quality American beer and not all beer in other countries - including England, which I think stride for stride has the best - is good by any means.

Anyway, IMO most beer tastes best just slightly cool - but many are great room temp too.

Originally Posted by fullflavormenthol View Post
I hate that canoe joke, because it is just stupid. Beer is always mostly water, and doesn't matter how strong or thick it tastes; you are always looking at around 85% water or more. If it was less water than that than it wouldn't be beer anymore. There is a limitation to the amount of alcohol that can be produced from fermentation, and all those flavor and thickness of say a stout is mostly an illusion; it is still mostly water.

I just hate the joke, because it really isn't that clever even if it supposed to be about taste.
Bravo. I hate it because it doesn't even make sense. American breweries have porters, stouts, etc etc and have for a long time. There's a hell of a lot more to American beer than Bud and Miller etc. What jibberish.

I like everything from the "lightest" beers (not meaning "lite beer," which I agree is very "watery") to the darkest/heartiest.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:40 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Seriously? What were you drinking, and how long ago was this? You'd be very hard pressed to find a 3% ABV beer in Britain. Most bitter sold in pubs or supermarkets is in the 4% - 5% range.
1 year ago, and damn near every bitter and IPA I could find, in failed hopes of finding one with hops, almost exclusively at pubs. Our hosts were cider and lager/pilsner drinkers, so supermarket runs were not helpful.

ETA: And it's not like I went over there with an agenda, either. It was quite the unpleasant surprise when I kept trying ales to keep not liking them. I believe the term "sheer bloodymindedness" is the phrase for why I kept ordering them.
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
Guiness stout is usually cold as is Bass ale or Newcastle Brown ale and many other good imported beers. Americans drink that cold also.
No beer ale should be drunk cold, no matter where it was brewed. If I pull one out of a cooler I let it warm up a bit.

eta: accidentally wrote "beer" instead of "ale".

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Old 11th October 2010, 02:49 PM   #26
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Because warm beer is disgusting.

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Old 11th October 2010, 02:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by dtugg View Post
Because warm beer is disgusting.

This. I've tried warm beers before (which were "meant" to be not cold), and it did nothing for me other than to cause a gag reflex.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:01 PM   #28
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For me it depends on the type of beer, just as it does with wine.

If it's too cold it sucks the flavor out of the beer. In some cases this is a good thing.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:03 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bloodtoes View Post
This. I've tried warm beers before (which were "meant" to be not cold), and it did nothing for me other than to cause a gag reflex.
I'm curious, which beers are "meant" to be served warm are you talking about? And what temperature is warm?
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by dtugg View Post
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Thanks for letting us know this. Almost as useful as saying "warm beer is disgusting." Well wait, perhaps more so.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:09 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Thanks for letting us know this. Almost as useful as saying "warm beer is disgusting." Well wait, perhaps more so.
Do you think I actually typed that?

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Old 11th October 2010, 03:17 PM   #32
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America has some of the best beer in the world, you just won't find them at your local 7/11. The myth of bad American beer is just based on the Bud/Coors/PBR type brands who have lots of marketing money.

A lot of European beers are supposed to be served at cellar temperature, which is far from warm, but not exactly cold, either. There aren't many beers that I know of that are supposed to be served "warm" but it does happen a lot in some countries.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:20 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
American beer doesn't taste very good, so you have to drink it cold.

That's the same reason they say cheap sake should be hot.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:32 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by KSskeptic View Post
I'm curious, which beers are "meant" to be served warm are you talking about? And what temperature is warm?
Almost anything except lager style beers. "Warm" is cellar temperature. Around 15C or 59F. So it's only relatively warm compared to beer that's chilled.

I remember reading an article by a publican who had an old "Guinness" branded cellar thermometer, which had (IIRC) 59F marked as "perfect" cellar temperature. He was bemoaning the fact that the Guinness rep now insisted on a much colder temperature for his product. If the publican didn't comply, he'd have his supply withdrawn. He tried to keep an unchilled barrel for some regulars who still liked their Guinness warm, but woe betide him if the rep ever found out.

Nowadays Guinness in UK pubs is served chilled as "Guinness" or even more chilled as "Guinness Extra Cold". I think they find they sell more to young drinkers who like the brand image but don't like the taste. Serve it freezing cold and you can't taste a thing.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:40 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by cambion View Post
America has some of the best beer in the world, you just won't find them at your local 7/11.
True. Beer is like bread. The mass produced brands are generally anaemic, bland and disappointing. The very best is made locally, by a craftsman who cares and uses the best ingredients available to produce an astonishing complexity of flavours. Then it becomes one of life's great pleasures.

Ben Franklin (allegedly) said: "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy". That's a nice line, even for an unbeliever like me.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:46 PM   #36
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I'm not sure whether this is accurate or not, but I've heard the theory that Prohibition is to "blame."

It goes something like this: when Prohibition ended, the brewing industry experienced rapid growth in the U.S., as breweries either started up from scratch or expanded their operations. Refrigeration technology had progressed by this point, so it was much more practical and cost-effective to make lagers than had been the case in the past. So there was a shift towards lagers, which are meant to be served colder than ales.

I really haven't noticed much of a difference in beer temperatures during my travels. What I have noticed is that cold, mass-produced lagers seems to be gaining in popularity everywhere: I was stunned to see how much Budweiser was being sold and consumed in Irish and British pubs. (I also saw a lot of "extra cold Guinness" taps.) This anecdotal experience would be consistent with the Prohibition theory, in that it suggests that people everywhere tend to like cold beers, and that the U.S. was just quicker to cater to that taste because it had to rebuild its brewing industry right around the time that it became easier to brew and serve cold beers.

My contrary data point, though, is water. American restaurants tend to bring you water that is half ice, while overseas it seems to be closer to room temperature.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:50 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
On occassion I talk to a Brit or german working here in Atlanta ga. They don't like their beer as cold as we do. Theres nothing wrong with drinking room temperature beer but I like it cold myself. I talked to a Polish girl at my watering hole and she told me that some cultures like their beer warm enough to steam a bit.

Here in the American southeast I can understand. It gets darn hot here so we drink cold soda, iced tea and we prefer our beer as cold as we can get it without it actually freezing.

Ok Most caucasian americans ancestors come from England, Germany etc. Why do we like it as coold as we do? What changed us?

Cold masks the taste of Horse Pee American Beer.

PBS had a program a few years back about American Beer. At the turn of the 20th century, America was known as a producer of some of the world's best beer. Miller, Strohs, Pabst, Coors, Anheuser-Busch, Schlitz - all of these were German Brewmasters.

Then came Prohibition. Of course this had a devastating effect.

According to PBS, what finished-off the American beers was WWII. Shortages of barley led beer makers to use rice to make beer.
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Old 11th October 2010, 03:57 PM   #38
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And someone hit reply without reading the thread.
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Old 11th October 2010, 04:05 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by IMST View Post
And someone hit reply without reading the thread.
Or knowing anything about the subject at hand, for that matter.
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And I dont care if your name is Norm or Jack, Or Dick. I dont see why you have to post your name everytime you make a comment./ its IRRELIVANT -Rwalsh
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Old 11th October 2010, 04:12 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by IMST View Post
And someone hit reply without reading the thread.
Who me?

Yes, I have been guilty of that. Is it a violation of the MA or something?
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