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Stupid Question - Pub Beer

Ontario
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Stupid Question - Pub Beer

Hi,

We are going to be in London (1st trip) in October. If I order a beer in a pub, will it be warm, cool or cold. Sorry if this is a really dumb question but I'm looking forward to checking out a few pubs.

Thanks

Hitchin, United...
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1. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

Depends on what you order, but rest assured that no beer is served warm. That's an urban myth perpetuated by Hollywood and various US commentators and "comedians". They get that from the fact we don't serve everything absolutely ice cold. We don't have to of course, because most of our beer actually tastes good. ;-)

Lager style beers are served very cold, just like in Canada... when I say lager I mean similar styles to Canadian mass market beer like say, Molson Canadian etc. Brand names you might see are Carling, Fosters, Kronenburg, Stella Artois, Heineken and Carlsberg. Some of these even have an "extra cold" version.

Proper ales (English style beers) are served cool rather than cold... usually the ambient temperature of the cellar that they're kept in, probably about 6-10 degrees C, so they're definitely cool, rather than warm. Breweries to look out for are Fullers and Youngs, the Fullers London Pride is a great example of a local ale. If you wanted something cooler still, you could try Fullers Discovery which is a proper ale, but lighter in colour and served chilled.

With the emerging microbrewery scene in Canada I dare say you've probably tried something similar to English styles already.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

When you're in the UK, if someone offers you a Fosters ..... firmly, politely if you wish, but firmly decline. Although it's officially an Aussie beer, no Aussie would ever admit to drinking it (well, I suppose a homeless person with no income might drink it if offered, but then they would be desperate...)

The Brits don't drink their beer warm - it is cool/cold, but they don't need or want to drink something that gives one a brain freeze :-)

Edited: 24 September 2010, 03:36
Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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3. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

Lagers will be frozen to an inch of their lives as that ensures that you can't taste it - you can tell which pumps are chilled like that by the beads of condensation on the pumps. All other pump beer is served at cellar temperature which will be significantly lower than room temperature

Sweden
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4. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

On my first trip to London my very first ale was warm (year 2000).

Never happend again, and now I also have the knowledge that if it should happen again one only have to politley ask for a new one.

So not entirely myth. And just to halt whoever misjudges my defenition of warm and allready are hovering above the reply button, that ale was about 24C.

Cheers :)

U.K.
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for Belgrade
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5. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

Also got more gas.

Athough the lager beer selections are getting better now so I wouldn't decline a decent lager even if very cold. Look out for Czech, German or Belgium imports, you'll often see Urquell Pilsner, Staropramen, Budvar (nothing like Budweiser), Paulaner, .....well the list is endless, if you want to try a good european lager ask the barman for something from those three countries. In England we have great beer but rubbish lager, lage is like the 'beer' you get in USA. avoid all the big brands and yes, avoid anything "australian".

For beer/ale/bitter, In London Fullers or Youngs, you might see Harveys which is also a good brewery in Sussex. You'll see the hand pumps on the bar, the barman has to 'pull' a pint for it to be goo IMO.

Don't be afraid to ask the barman, often good pubs have guest beers, too many to name or try. And you'll usually find a good 'import' lager, most pubs now have one.

Stoofer

London, United...
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6. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

In a busy pub, you might sometimes get beer served into a glass that is still warm from the dishwasher.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

I find the best way of evaluating the correct temperature of beer is to test a statistically representative sample in order to draw conclusions about what the norm is, and where one's personal preference sits

There are ways of establishing what makes a sample size representative, but they are complicated; so to save time you can work on teh rough rule of thumb that a sample size of 1000 is large enough to be representative of any size of statistical population

Happy drinking!

Hampshire, England.
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8. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

"rule of thumb that a sample size of 1000 is large enough to be representative of any size of statistical population".

Oh at least that amount but preferably not in one session!

Dallas, Texas
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9. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

We are now into our third day in London, and have hit two pubs already. We have been drinking ale exclusively. From an American's point of view, I would say the ale is served cool - slightly below room temperature. But it tastes great. It is nothing like the American standard of ice cold beer (which I don't care for). Two different concepts entirely - cold beer v. ale.

So far, my favorite ale is Adnams Broadside - although I am developing a taste for the bitters as well.

Edited: 24 September 2010, 09:04
Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Stupid Question - Pub Beer

^Adnams is superb stuff, although I go more for the Bitter than the Broadside. They do fantastic seasonal ales as well, which many breweries don't. Just to put the cherry on top, where they make it (Southwold) is a beautiful little town, a lovely unspoilt seaside town that looks like it could have come out of an Edwardian photo album. Well worth a visit, using of course the excuse that beer never travels well ;-)