Hottest beer in town

Survey finds many British pubs serving cask ale too warm

June 21, 2005 - Efforts to set aside the notion that British "real ale" should be served warm and flat apparently have fallen on deaf ears. A survey of pubs across England found that 44% of pints exceed the suggested serving temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 C).


Publicans in London, Essex, Middlesex, Cambridgeshire and the West Midlands all pulled pints measuring between 79 and 81 degrees, and one in Kent served beer at 95.

"There is a common misconception that cask beer is intended to be warm," said Paul Nunny, director of the Cask Marque quality program.

Inspectors made unannounced visits to pubs to check quality of beer served as cask ale (also known as real ale). The findings were part of the organization's campaign to raise awareness of ale temperature.

Nunny said many customers were confused about what makes the perfect pint. "Proper beer is cool, refreshing and thirst quenching," he said, noting that 52-55 degrees is preferred.