Out of interest, I wonder what those of you in the USA think of English Beer, which is served at room temperature ?  The "Real Ale" that Inspector Morse used to drink in Oxford.  I have not been to to USA for some years.  But when I was last in St. Louis I enjoyed a strong brown beer, which I believe was called "John Adams" and  named after the 2nd President of the USA 

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I love English beer, whatever the temperature. I prefer stout warm, as well as brown ale. I usually drink Bass, but I also have a fondness for McEwan's Scotch ale.

You had a Sam Adams. Sam was John Adams' brewer cousin.

Thank you for the correction.  I feel slightly ashamed at being wrong about 2 things I believed myself to be proficient in; American History and Alcohol.

Well give Sam Adams his full due: he was also a Founding Father and one of the earliest instigators of the American Revolution.

In China, where I lived for a bit once upon a time, the beer is often served warm due to lack of refrigeration. You get used to it. But I can't quite understand the British thing of preferring it room temperature!

Our "Yellow" Beers (which we call Lagers) are served chilled in Bars or Pubs.  Some "Brown" beers (mostly pasteurised) are also served chilled.  But we believe that Real (unpasteurised) Ales, such as those drunk by Morse, are best served at room temperature.  Serving them that way releases the subtle flavours the Ales contain.  It is the same thing as removing cheese from the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving it.  And almost without exception, for the same reason, red wine is never chilled.

The next time you're in the U.S., I commend McNeill's Brewery in Brattleboro, Vermont. Ray makes excellent English- and German-style beers, and has won prizes all over the world. It also doesn't hurt that Brattleboro is my hometown.

My ideal vacation would be to tour the states of New England, preferably in autumn.  That will be when funds permit me to do so.  Hopefully, we could then meet up in Brattleboro to share an imperial pint or two of McNeills.

Thanks for explaining, Andrew. Hope I get the chance to try out an ale in an English pub one day.

If you ever chose to visit the North West of England you are welcome to be my guest.  I can also offer a free tour of Manchester's medieval Cathedral, where I am a qualified guide.

Take the Jack Daniels tour sometime. One of the best days of my life.

Added to my list of things to do...

UK beers are actually served at "cellar" temperature - not "room" temperature, which means they are lightly chilled, not warm. Think of it as storing your beer in an unheated room of your basement. That first sip is cool on the tongue, not cold and definitely not warm. Lagers, as mentioned above, are served chilled. And there are also differences between a Scottish pint and an English pint. A Scottish pint glass is larger to accommodate a healthy head (1/4 to 1/2 inch) to show the beer is fresh and alive, while the English prefer a smaller pint with the head scraped off - similarly to what they did to Scots rebels during the Highland Clearances.

I love the range of expertise we have going here.


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