I think that when the weather is as diabolic as it has been the last two days, there is indeed a reasonable debate about the merits of tasting your beer vs. drinking something that’s as cold as you can possibly get it.

My experience tonight was with Widmer’s Drop Top Amber. I don’t think I’ve actually had the chance to really taste this beer before today. Having pulled all of my pint glasses from the freezer, they were quite warm from my bar, located in a un-airconditioned region of the hacienda. The refrigerated Drop Top hit the glass cold but warmed very quickly. The upshot was that I had about two minutes of pleasure with this slightly sweet and malty beer before it became far too thick and syrupy. Drinking it outside didn’t help matters, and before long I was not having any fun with this beer whatsoever.

When I posed the “whatcha drinkin’ to keep cool” question last night, I was surprised to see how many people put a cheap Pilsner on the top of their list. But after my beer today, I can see thier point. A flavorful craft beer seems to have a temperature window where you can get the most out of it. Too cold, you can’t taste it. Too warm, and it can become unpleasant, especially in this heat.

I’m still sticking with last nights recommendations. However, I do think I would relish the experience of an ultra cold pint of cheap American Lager in a frozen pint glass—simply for the slight buzz, the burning carbonation and the cold cold liquid in my throat. But that experience is all physical. At that point, I might as well be drinking soda water with a lime wedge from a frosty pint glass, booze be damned.

So is there a way to get craft beer flavor with the experience of cheap super chilled Pils, or is it an impossible dream? Lemme have it, beer geeks!