I often assume when ordering a beer at a restaurant that it will be served in the proper style of glass and in an un-chilled glass. Bzzzzz – wrong. I shouldn’t assume as most restaurants, except for the ones that specialize in good craft beer, don’t seem to stock more than a pint and sleeve glass. If that’s all they have, then there’s not much you can do regarding the style of glass but if you get a beer served in a chilled glass, request the next one in an un-chilled glass. Sometimes this gets the “oh-for-the-love-of-god” eye roll from the server, but too bad. I didn’t send the first one back, you beer-flavour-killer-enabler, so don’t get all pissy. A polite request for a non-chilled glass for the second beer, because we know you’re having more than one, corrects this beer faux pas. And actually, I’ve noticed that a few local establishments that used to serve them frosty cold have stopped doing this. Seems like I’m not the only beer geek requesting un-chilled or, someone has recently educated them in how to properly serve beer.
Some beers are much better when they warm up (i.e. stouts) but time will always take care of that if it comes too cold. If you haven’t experimented with this, you should. Take your favourite imperial stout, such as Old Rasputin, right out of the fridge and smell and taste it. Then wait for it to warm up a bit – you’ll know when it’s the optimum temperature when you can really start to smell all the malty, earthy aromas and smell/taste the other prominent flavours (coffee, espresso, chocolate, molasses). When it’s too cold, these flavours are masked and diminish the experience.
Of course, there’s no hope in educating the people at Coors and Kokanee who think the marketing gimmick of having a can of beer change colour as it gets colder is just the best thing since Richard Simmons got a perm. Maybe that goes back to the previous comment, perhaps cat pee is better frosty cold. I’m not going to do the research on that one.