It's All Head
In the last days of autumn I read a guide to the optimal flavour temperatures for different types of beers. I didn't pay much attention, because at that time of year the optimal temperature for beer was coincidentally whatever temperature it was in my fridge.
It's been a long, cold winter since. Finally, on a visit to the Prancing Pony Brewery to sample their IPA, I realised that letting certain beers warm up a little can make a big difference to how good they taste. For the back half of winter I've been leaving my wheatier beer out for fifteen minutes before drinking. It's still cold, but the edge is gone and the flavours that had been missing during those gloomy months are brighter and punchier.
I walked to work this morning, noticing the buds on the trees. For the first time in a while I didn’t feel the need to stick my hands in my pockets. The wind was still cool, but it wasn’t freezing. The wind was the temperature of a beer left out of the fridge for fifteen minutes. And the breeze in my face was like the first mouthful of a whole summer of flavour.