A Beer Expert Weighs In On Why You Shouldn't Drink IPA's Straight From The Fridge

You reach for a chilled IPA straight from the fridge, eager for a refreshing sip. But before you enjoy your fermented hops, you might want to give it a moment first. In an exclusive conversation with Tasting Table, Jeff Tyler, head brewer and co-owner of the Spice Trade Brewery + Kitchen in the Denver area, unfolds the intricacies of enjoying an IPA to its fullest. Tyler suggests a pause, as a moment of patience may yield a richer-tasting experience.

Tyler notes that he's "a big believer that everyone has a different preference when it comes to food and drink ... [e]veryone should be able to enjoy things how they like them." He does, however, observe that "the colder a beer is, the more flavors will be subdued ... [i]ce-cold beer will also numb your taste buds a bit and make it harder to pick out flavor compounds. Most refrigerators will keep your beer in the 34-37 degrees Fahrenheit range, but you'll get a better flavor experience if you let that beer warm up a few degrees into the low to mid-40s." In other words, a slightly warmer beer allows for a fuller exploration of the IPA's flavor profile.

Enjoy IPA's warm, but always keep them refrigerated

Tyler adds, "This is not just specific to IPAs, though; it's true for any beer. Belgian beers are a great example that also shine when served at temperatures in the 40s and sometimes even warmer." 

While you should enjoy your IPAs at warmer temperatures, make a mental note that you should still always refrigerate them. This is because, Tyler points out, "beer is a highly perishable product, especially IPAs. [They] have a ton of organic compounds in them from hops that provide all of the wonderful citrus, tropical fruit, pine, herbal, and grassy flavor notes that people love. Those flavor compounds are also very delicate and highly susceptible to being broken down by heat and exposure to oxygen." Refrigeration, as Tyler explains, helps slow down the oxygenation and heat deterioration of beer, thus prolonging its delicious and fresh taste. 

So the next time you reach for an ice-cold IPA, rest it for a few minutes on the counter to let it warm up slightly before indulging responsibly. By adhering to Tyler's expert advice, we can enjoy subtle nuances and beautiful notes, discovering unparalleled flavors in every bottle or can of IPA.