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Why Beer Shouldn't Be Served in a Frosted Glass

Why Beer Shouldn't Be Served in a Frosted Glass

Controlling the temperature of beer during storage is very important to help maintain freshness, flavors, and aromatics. According to the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Manual, kegs should be stored between 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit, while draft lines should be refrigerated or insulated to properly maintain the serving temperature of the beer you're serving. So, what happens when a frosted glass causes the beer to be served at a lower temperature than recommended?


Extremely cold glass surfaces will cause beer to foam due to the rapid release of CO2 from the product. This foam will affect both the amount of liquid required to fill the glass and also the presentation, resulting in an improper pour. 


Frosted mugs will reduce the flavor your taste buds are able to taste. Beer served at near-frozen temperatures blinds the taste experience as taste buds are “numbed,” resulting in a bland taste experience. At low temperatures, you may have trouble picking up on the flavors brewers work hard to produce in their products. 


As a frozen glass melts, it can produce off flavors and smells. If the glass is put in the freezer wet with a contaminated liquid, this liquid will freeze to the glass. As this liquid melts into the beer, off flavors produced by sanitizers or dirty rinse water will affect the taste. Also, the ice crystals on the glass are able to pick up odors as they freeze. These off flavors and odors that brewers did not intend for, may result in an unfavorable tasting experience. 

What is the correct way to serve a draft beer?

According to the Draft Beer Quality Manual:

-Serving between 38 degrees to 44 degrees Fahrenheit delivers the best taste experience for most beer styles. 

-Domestic lager beer can be enjoyed at 38 degrees to 40 degrees if served in a chilled glass. 

-Room temperature glasses are preferred for craft beer, but may cause foaming on highly carbonated beer.

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