A problem with drinking bottled ales at home is getting them at the right temperature. Ideally, ales are meant to be served at around 10-12°C (50-55°F), which equates to a natural cellar temperature, but certainly isn’t fridge-cold. But that can be very difficult to recreate in the home, especially in the summer, something that the recent warm spell has underlined. Room temperature is much too warm, but if you put the bottles in the fridge for too long, they get lager-cold and lose much of their appeal. Ideally, you need to put them in the fridge for 60-90 minutes, but that demands a lot of forward planning.
The other day I drank a bottle of Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale which had been in the fridge too long, and the flavour didn’t really come out until I got near the bottom of the glass. Maybe this is the kind of rich, malty beer that most loses character from being too cold, but even so it wouldn’t be right at room temperature. Is this a deterrent to ale drinking at home? Should fridges maybe be equipped with a “cellar cool” section maintaining 50°F?