The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

A new study reveals why beer is best served cold

A new study has revealed the perfect temperature at which to serve beer.

According to the scientists, a perfect pint – specifically lager – should be consumed at 5 degrees Celsius, roughly the temperature at which the drink is stored in the fridge.

This comes after a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated how temperature affects surface tension depending on alcohol percentage, and found molecules in the drinks form clusters and chains at different levels of heat.

Prof Lei Jiang, the study author, told The Telegraph that their finding supported a preference for cold beer as the chemicals “are more likely to be aligned in a way that enhances the taste”.

“Lower temperatures enhance the distinct sensory attributes of beer, making it more enjoyable for many consumers,” said Lei Jiang.

“The cooling effect amplifies certain taste sensations, allowing for a more refined experience.”

He told The Telegraph that as beer warms up, the surface tension decreases because “ethanol-water clusters” responsible for flavour are disrupted.

The more of these clusters there are, the better the taste, and they become more stable at cooler temperatures.

“As the temperature rises, these clusters can change, leading to a different taste profile that may be perceived as less alcoholic,” he said.

The reports summarises that the “influence of temperature on clusters probably accounts for preferable changes of ‘ethanol-like tastes’ of low-ABV beers or white wine after cooling and high-ABV shochu or Chinese baijiu after heating.”

The results have been published in the journal Matter.

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