Shocker! New Study Finds That British Beer Is Too Warm

beer, Shocker! New Study Finds That British Beer Is Too Warm

One of the common complaints that Americans make about beer in the UK is that British beer is too flat and too warm…And a new report seems to be confirming some of that…

Here’s the deal…

First let’s be clear, when beer tourists are complaining about British beer being too flat and warm they’re primarily talking about cask ale which is naturally carbonated and as a result contains less bubbles than draft beer in the US.

Cask ales are also historically served at cellar temperatures and traditionally served warmer than most draft beers in the states.

And as Food & Wine puts it, “It’s not bad… it’s just different.”

But now according to the 2018 Cask Report from Cask Marque, a UK non-profit and a leading advocate for cask quality, cask beer sales in England have slipped by 6.8 percent in the past year, “and though a number of trends are behind the drop, one of the biggest issues is temperature.“

beer, Shocker! New Study Finds That British Beer Is Too WarmAccording to Cask Marque “Two-thirds of cask drinkers told us they would prefer cask to be served at a cooler temperature than the recommended 11-13°[approximately 52 to 55°F].”

This is a profound shift for today’s cask consumers, and we can’t help but wonder if the emergence of craft beer in the UK, which is definitely served colder than cask, wasn’t a factor in this swing.

Equally concerning was a Cask Marque monitoring during July 2018 which found that almost 7 out of 10 pints of cask were served warmer than the recommended temperature. Only 26 percent were served at the recommended temperature 52 to 55°F (11-13°C). And even more worrisome was that Cask Marque found 2% of the cask ales they monitored were served warmer than20°C.”

“That’s a blistering 68°F” and as Food & Wine reminds us that the “warmer the weather, the more people want a colder beer.”

And adding to the crisis of warm cask ale that appears to be getting even warmer, is the reality that in spite of modern refrigeration plenty of pubs are staying true to tradition and, as beer writer Mike Pomranz astutely explains, “plenty of pubs simply let nature handle their beer cooling—as they have for generations.”

And last summer’s soaring temperatures in the UK didn’t help either…

So warm beer has finally become as irritating to the Brits as it has been forever for Americans, but UK cask lovers are even more unforgiving. And at a time when cask ales are on a downswing even one bad pint is one to many.

According to the 2018 Cask Report, “40 percent of customers would never come back after a bad pint.” And that’s really giving the UK’s warm beer the cold shoulder.

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