Beer Temperature Serving Guide for Craft Beers

Serving temperature is a critical factor in determining the flavour of the beer. For most craft beers slightly warmer serving temperatures make flavours more perceptible to the taste buds so more of the malt characteristics and sweetness is enjoyed.

Crafting Across the continents..

One of the principal flavouring components of beer is malt. Malts used in brewing are commonly known as brewing sugars derived from a malting cereal grain, frequently, malted barley and less commonly, malted wheat amongst other cereals. Through the malting process, the grain develops the enzymes which assist in the conversion of the grain starches during the mash to various types of fermentable sugars.

European and English beers along with Craft beers are often made with more malt than traditional mass-produced Australian and American beers such as VB and XXXX Gold as well as American Pale Lagers such as Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draught. Consequently, many European and British beers are often richer in flavour and a little sweeter. Malt also contributes to the body and head of the beer, so a more malty beer generally tastes and has more body and is richer on the palate and has a creamier longer-lasting head.



A degree of separation?

Serving temperature is also a critical factor when determining the flavour of the beer. Lighter less malty beers are often best enjoyed cold. Slightly warmer serving temperatures make flavours more perceptible to the taste buds so more of the malt characteristics and sweetness is enjoyed when the beer is served slightly warmer. This flavour attributes and characterises are suppressed when the beer is too cold. It is easy to imagine that a super chilled stout may taste sharply bitter and out of balance whilst a warmer serving reveals an enhanced balance between malt sweetness and roasted grain character.  Choosing the best serving temperature ensures that your brew remains properly in balance. Most craft brews are likely to benefit by avoiding ice chilled serving temperatures.

Is there an easy way to adjust the serving temperature of beer? Pouring the beer in a thin-walled room temperature glass will raise the temperature by 1 to 2 degrees or 2 to 4 degrees with a thicker-walled beer glass. It is often a mistake that can adversely affect the drinking experience when pubs serve beer in chilled glasses. If the beer is too cold then much of the flavour and aroma can be lost detracting from the drinking experience.

Beer Temperature Serving Guide


Obviously, the best guide is always one that suits your own taste. It may be very revealing when you play around with drinking temperature with your own craft beer. Who knows, your favourite brew may become even better once you have made a new drink temperature discovery.

The recommendations below are the drinking temperature after the beer is poured into the glass.

Cold Chilled: around 4° to 5°C: For pale crisp lagers and ales with lighter malt content.

Cool: around 7 to 8°C: For most craft beers with a more substantial malt content resulting in maltier and sometimes complex brews.  This can often include medium to full-bodied, pale ales IPAs, stouts, amber ales and dark ales.

Cellar: around 10 to 12°C: Often suits a range of traditional beer styles including rich full-malt English ales and Bitters. High alcohol beers like Barley wine and Belgian Abbey beers like Chimay. Also, anything correctly titled Imperial beers which often refers to English Stouts shipped to Imperial Russia with 2 to 3 times the usual malt and hop contents. Consequently, they display a pronounced and elevated flavour profile and enhanced alcohol content in the range of 8- 12%.

New Recipe of the Week: Hop Loaded Pale Ale


We also like to refer to our recipe as a Pacific Pale Ale because it uses New Zealand Malt and US grown hops. This beer is a smooth and layered Pale Ale with pronounced malt complexity and a rich deep golden colour. Shed-loads of American Simcoe and Citra provide complexity in flavour and aroma with characteristics of bitter citrus and tropical fruit with a dry refreshing finish.

Recommended Serving temperature:

Cool but not Chilled around 7 to 8°C
Batch Size 21 Litres
Specifications  Alcohol: 5.5 – 5.8 ABV Bitterness:45 – 50 IBU  Colour: 10 SRM


Black Rock Pale Ale 1.7 kg
Black Rock Golden 1.7KG
Dry Wheat Malt extract 500g
Simcoe hops 50g and Citra Hops 50g
Mangrove Jacks M44 Westcoast Ale Yeast


Hop Loaded American Pale Ale

Sources: “Effects of temperature on beer appearance, aroma, and taste” “Serving Temperature Guidelines” “Cold Beer? Warm Beer? Select the Right Serving temperature”
Home Brewing by Mike Rodgers-Wilson