How many times have you heard people arguing about letting a cold beer get warm? Do you know how many beer purists have heckled me when I let a sealed beer get back to room temperature and then put it back in my fridge to enjoy the next day? Am I drinking tainted beer? Or is my snobby friend completely in the right?
In the heat of the moment my friend yelled, “Let’s bet a 6-pack on it.” So, I have opted into doing the research to get to the bottom of the classic beer argument – “Will I ‘skunk’ my beer if I let it get warm after being chilled already?’
What Is ‘Skunking’
To get to the bottom of this, we first had to answer the question: What are we really saying when someone says, “Aw man, this beer is skunked!”
‘Skunking’ is a chemical process that occurs when ultraviolet light (From the sun) reacts to the bitter hops in your beer. In recent years, you may have seen a growing trend of more brown beer bottles. The dark bottles help counteract the UV rays so the beer inside your bottle stays fresher longer.
Beers that come in cans are also much less prone to being ‘skunked.’ Of course, beer can start to taste weird, or musty if they get close to an expiration date or have been hiding in the back of your fridge for 6 months – a year no matter the elements. However, real beer drinkers don’t leave beer in their fridge that long, right? Right.
Will Beer Be Ruined if it goes from Cold to Warm to Cold?
After an extensive session of research…the short answer is….no. Moderate temperature changes will not affect the integrity of your beer. If you move it from the fridge to the table back to the fridge – you’re not going to ruin your beer. The only temperature changes that will really affect your beer are extreme temperature changes like taking it from the freezer into extremely hot water.
If you leave a 6 pack of beers on a table where it is in direct sunlight – that also may cause an adverse reaction in your beer.
One Beeradvocate user said – “Beer isn’t a souffle, it’s not just going to fall apart at the slightest provocation.”
I could not have said it better myself. Of course we want to care for our beers, but just know that even your favorite beers may not be as fragile as you think.
Checkmate. Where’s my 6 pack?