Is it good to drink beer with ice cubes?

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In summer, when the sun is beating mercilessly on our necks, and we seek refuge in the shade, in the bath or in the garden, we like our drinks ice-cold. Whether it’s a spritzer, cola or coffee – drinks are ordered on the rocks. One drink is the exception: beer. Austria’s favorite alcoholic drink is never, really never, served with ice cubes. In theory, you would think that the beer would stay cold for longer, and you would have to down it less quickly (if you wanted to).

“Generally speaking, ice cubes are not good for beer,” says beer pope Conrad Seidl. The very simple reason, as the beer expert says, is that the ice cubes’ melting water dilutes the beer. When people do this, as in the United States or countries in tropical regions, they are usually more interested in quenching their thirst. In any case, it’s about beers with poor taste, says Seidl. So the ice cubes don’t really matter. But thirst instead of enjoyment is a myth, says the expert. Beer does not help against thirst, even if many people claim it does.
However, the beer expert points out that beer should not be served too cold. In Brazil, for example, but also in Lithuania, ice-cold drinks are advertised. Refrigerator temperatures are even set at minus five degrees, says Seidl. For light beer, the expert recommends a drinking temperature of around six to eight degrees as ideal.

For the hot summer days ahead, the beer pope suggests the following trick instead of ice cubes: “Chill glasses and mugs, even in the fridge if you like”. If you then pour beer that has already cooled down to drinking temperature, it will stay cold for longer, even in the warm beer garden, says Seidl. If a little ice collects on the surface of the beer in the frozen glass or mug, that’s fine. As long as it doesn’t end up in the beer in cube form.

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