If you have come into the shop on one of the warmer days we have experienced lately you might have noticed it feeling distinctly chilly while you were browsing. After feeling how warm it got in the shop last summer we have invested in a proper air conditioning unit to ensure that the beer on our shelves is kept at the right temperature. Warm temperatures are a real problem for beer once it has been packaged, sitting for too long at too high a temperature causes beer to go stale and degrade giving you a less then optimum drinking experience.
With that in mind Ruth and I have come up with some simple ideas to help you keep your beer at its best;
Unless you have a cellar/storage area which is consistently at around 12 degrees or below then we recommend keeping your beer in the fridge. Sure it might be a bit colder than you would like when it comes to drinking but it will always warm up in your glass. Too cold is better than too warm. Once a beer has been affected by heat there is no going back.
Don’t leave your beer in the back of a car on a warm day, the glasshouse effect will have that beer cooking in no time.
Draught ale does taste best at 10-12 degrees but if you can’t keep it at that store it in the fridge. A little chill haze might develop but that is much more desirable then heat struck beer.
In the shop we follow these steps to look after the beer:
When it is warmer our aircon comes on to keep the shop at 15 degrees or below.
All our cask ale is cooled by jackets which have pipes of chilled water running through them to keep the ale at a lovely 10-12 degrees. (We check this with a probe thermometer).
We are careful about where we order our beer from especially in summer. We don’t want casks or cases of beer that have been on multiple truck journeys in 20 degree plus heat. Just like in the warmer months we don’t leave beer sitting in the back of our van for hours.
One more point on storage is the following. You might have noticed that none of the beers on our shelves are in green or even worse clear glass bottles. Without getting too technical about it light waves are able to travel through clear and green glass much better than through brown glass. These light waves damage the beer resulting in skunky, unpleasant tastes. While you wouldn’t want to leave your brown bottles lying in the sun for hours brown glass is much better at keeping out light (cans are even better) and protecting your beer.
Following these simple tips will help keep your beer in the best possible condition and tasting like the brewer intended.
Mike and Ruth