Here's a big win for science today! There is finally an answer to one of life's most important questions...why does beer taste better when it's cold?

To be fair, I prefer beer at 'cellar' temperature, which isn't exactly room temperature but it's closer to that than when it's chilled in a fridge/freezer. I've learned I'm in the extreme minority with that, so I wanted to help you find out exactly why you prefer your beer ice cold.

When you ask your average beer drinker why they prefer a cold beer, most of the time you'll get some kind of answer like "it tastes better that way" or "it's better cold than warm" and these answers would objectively be correct but why?

When you were in school did your science teacher ever say that science is everything? Mr. Crabtree had this posted in his classroom when I was in my high school science class. It turns out that he was right!

Unsplash - Kazuend
Unsplash - Kazuend

Beer is Better Cold Because of Science!

According to the NY Post, beer tastes better on ice, in a fridge, or frosted in a mug because of how ethanol reacts to temperature changes. The study discovered how the water and ethanol (alcohol) change shape with cooler temperatures.

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At warmer temperatures, the ethanol forms more 'pyramid' shaped molecules around the water. At cooler temperatures, the ethanol forms more into a 'chain' around the water, as opposed to individual pyramids. This is the change you are tasting when drinking a cold beer as opposed to a warm beer. Most beer drinkers tend to prefer the 'chain' like molecules.

When the chains begin to form, you taste more of the ethanol, which is bitter AND slightly sweet. Most people tend to find the ethanol flavor more refreshing and stimulating.

What Temperature Do We Need?

How can you find the perfect beer temperature the next time you're buying a case or you're celebrating Cinco de Mayo? The study says the key temperature for a beer is around 41 degrees or below, without turning the beer into a frozen slushy. This is normally the temperature of the average fridge. If your fridge is warmer than 41 degrees, your beer won't taste as good.

You don't just enjoy cold beer because you've always drank it that way, there's science behind why you put a 6 pack in your fridge when you get home from the liquor store! Science is everything.

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