If you frequent brewpubs, you’ve most likely heard of the term “beer flight". However, if you’re…
I think that most of us prefer a cold brew rather than a warm one. Is it, however, a matter of personal preference to put beers in the fridge to keep them cool, or is keeping beer refrigerated something we must do? Well, the answer isn’t that simple. As we discuss different types of beers and does beer need to be refrigerated, bear in mind that while refrigerated storage is preferred, it is not always necessary. If you want to keep your beer at room temperature, it’ll be fine, as long as you don’t leave it in a hot garage or out in the sun during the summer months. Heat and sun exposure can easily accelerate the aging process and the development of off-flavors.
Does Unpasteurized Beer Need to be Refrigerated?
This is a beer that must be kept refrigerated at all times! Unpasteurized beers, as the name implies, do not go through the pasteurization process. During this step, the cans or bottles are sprayed with hot water to destroy any bacteria and prevent any yeasts that may still be present in the beer from growing. While drinking unpasteurized beers is not harmful, you should keep them refrigerated and consume them within a few days (45-60 days after production is best).
Does Canned Beer Need to be Refrigerated?
It is best to keep canned beer refrigerated but it isn’t necessary. Beer is best preserved when stored in a dark and cool area but that doesn’t mean that it will immediately go bad if not stored in these conditions. It just means that, much like any other product we consume, it will go bad faster if not stored properly. Generally, a temperature of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit is good. However, different styles are best consumed when preserved and served at certain temperatures. Strong beers, such as dark ales, should be maintained at 55 to 60 degrees, IPAs should be kept at 50 to 55 degrees, and lighter beers, such as lagers, should be kept at 45 to 50 degrees.
Does a Keg Need to be Refrigerated?
Kegs follow the same principles. If the beer in them is unpasteurized then you should keep it in temperatures lower than 50 degrees. Otherwise, you’re at risk of your beer getting spoiled by bacteria. The ideal temperature to store an untapped keg is around 36 to 38 degrees. Temperatures higher than these will produce foamy beer with stale flavors. Tapped kegs should be consumed within 12 to 24 hours while the beer is still fresh.
Does Beer with Lactose Need to be Refrigerated?
While these beers do contain lactose, they don’t need to be refrigerated the same way that milk does. However, it is best to store them in cool temperatures because they don’t age that well. Keeping them refrigerated will slow down the aging process. Also, if a lactose beer isn’t pasteurized the lactose can act as a source of food for any present bacteria. That bacteria can develop and cause infections. This can be avoided by keeping the beer cold.