The strange idea that the British like their beer warm is fairly common, but wrong. Most British bitter is drunk at the coolish end of room temperature, around the same as red wine - say 14-15 degrees. This temperature brings out the more volatile flavours.

The idea that beer has to be drunk ice cold is another partial untruth, based on the very true and real experience of cheap industrial pilsner where you do indeed need to cool it down enough to avoid being able to taste it.

If you really do fancy the idea of warm beer however, most darker beers - stouts and brown ale - can be mulled like wine with added flavourings, while Guinness was sometimes drunk in winter after being warmed up by the simple expedient of sticking the poker into it straight from the fireplace.

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