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What temperature should beer be served at?

Beer should be served at a temperature between 3-13°C. But that’s a wide range, and we don’t want to just ‘serve’ beer correctly. We want maximum enjoyment from every beer. Getting the temperature right is an art and a science, a mission that needs to grapple with:

  • Type of beer

  • Alcohol content

  • Colour

  • Flavour

  • Drinking method (can or glass)

  • Room temperature

  • Personal preference

As a rough guide, within the range of 3-13°C, stronger beers tend to be served at warmer temperatures. Colder beers will feel more refreshing but will lack flavour. But you’re not here for a rough guide, are you? Want to take a deep dive into beer temperatures? Of course, you do. And you’re in the right place. We love this stuff.

The perfect temperature for beer


The perfect temperature for beer depends on the beer style, serving method and room temperature. Lagers should be served at the bottom of the 3-13oC range, ales in the middle and stouts at the top. The stronger and darker the beer, the warmer the ideal drinking temperature.

Start with this guide:

3-7°C - Pale lagers and pilsners
7-10°C - IPAs and American Pale Ales
10-12°C – Real Ales (this is the traditional British pub cellar temperature)
11-13°C – Stouts and Porters

Once the beer is served, its temperature will begin to rise. The higher the air temperature, the faster thermal energy transfers to the liquid, warming up the beer. Cans transfer heat at a faster rate than glasses, so bear that in mind when engineering the perfect temperature for your beverage.
For the best drinking experience, store your beer at 1-2oC below the drinking temperature to compensate for natural warming.

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Cold beer

The craving for an ice-cold beer makes sense. Cold temperatures enhance the bitterness and dryness of the beer, leading to a crisp, thirst-quenching feel. Craft beers with a higher alcohol content lose their flavour if served too cold. Think about the situation at hand.

Low temperatures inhibit the aromas of the ingredients, masking the flavour. Lighter, mass-produced lagers are often drunk at the lower end of the temperature spectrum because the taste is minimal in the first place. When you’re drinking a carefully crafted and selected flavour, crank up the experience by serving a couple of degrees higher.

At higher temperatures, flavours are enhanced, but the sensation of bitterness and carbonation will decrease, leading to a flatter experience. Somewhere on this spectrum, from fresh to flavour, will be the ideal temperature for your taste and that specific drink. This is going to require some experimentation!

A cold beer feels more refreshing, so don’t be afraid to adjust the temperature based on the weather. When the sun’s out and the BBQ is on, grab a cold one with a light body.

On a cosy winter afternoon, an indulgent Stout should be enjoyed at cellar temperature.

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Beer fridge temperature

The storage temperature is not the same as the serving temperature. Keep your beer fridge temperature a couple of degrees below the temperature you want to drink. A temperature of 5°C works well for a fridge of mixed beers, but don’t be afraid to adjust the temperature based on your current stock and the occasion.

Normal fridges containing food should be kept between 0-5°C. Feel free to throw light lagers and pilsners in there, but it’s a bit too cold for most ales. For a dedicated beer fridge, a temperature of 5°C is ideal, allowing for natural warming after you’ve served the drink.

Dark ales and bitters do not need to be stored in a fridge. Keep them somewhere cooler than the average room in your house. A garage or cellar is ideal.

If you’re reading this, you’re our sort of person. You take enjoying beer seriously, and so do we. From a garage in 2006 to 4 breweries and 100 bars around the world, we feel like we’re just getting started. Strap in and enjoy the ride.