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View Full Version : The great taboo: ice cubes in beer.


pkbites
09-06-2003, 10:05 PM
Beer is one of the only beverages that people will absolutely not put ice into, regardless of how warm it is. Soda, lemonade, water, whiskey, etc., people will drink with ice. But never beer. I know I would rather drink it warm than with ice.

Has it always been this way? Or has there been a time when folk woud put a few cubes of ice in a warm beer?
What about other countries? Is there somewhere on the planet where putting ice into a warm beer is commonly done?

Not In Anger
09-06-2003, 10:09 PM
Putting ice in beer is simply not done. In any culture, in any point of history. It ranks with incest as the #1 taboo of all time. Drinking beer warm is aceptable, though not desireable.

pkbites
09-06-2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Not In Anger
Putting ice in beer is simply not done. In any culture, in any point of history.


While it's incredibly easy for me to take your word for it, I still gotta ask.................Cite?

Not In Anger
09-06-2003, 10:20 PM
haha. I'm a amateur history buff, and i get most of my relevant info off anthropologists that everyone else considers to be crazy. While I'm only a anthropology dillentante, I know my beer, and no fool would ever insult it with a ice cube. It would be like pissing in the sink.

Q.E.D.
09-06-2003, 10:21 PM
How about an anti-Cite (http://newsreview.com/issues/sacto/2002-09-26/foodpick.asp)?
Any self-respecting American beer drinker would wince at the prospect of drinking a brew poured over ice, but a recent excursion to central Mexico revealed that the idea isnít so bad after all.

Q.E.D.
09-06-2003, 10:23 PM
And another (http://canucksalmanac.hispeed.com/articles/1982_finals.html):
New York Islander Goalie Billy Smith, his red face beaming as he drank beer on the rocks last Sunday night while his teammates sipped champagne from the Stanley Cup, spoke for everyone...

Desmostylus
09-06-2003, 10:24 PM
There's a right way and a wrong way to do things.

Here's the right way. (http://u-magazine.com/magazine/articles.php?article=Beer+Cubes)

Chefguy
09-06-2003, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by Not In Anger
It would be like pissing in the sink.

There's no need to insult the Irish. :D

My brother used to put ice in his beer because someone told him it would help reduce his chronic heartburn. It was some years later that he finally realized that the drinking was probably a large part of the problem.

Balthisar
09-06-2003, 10:31 PM
Don't stone me -- I've done it out of desperation.

But come on, adding ice to Budweiser does what to the beer? It can't be any more watery as is. Oh, yeah, the "desperation" was both (1) drinking Bud in the first place and (2) putting ice into it.

Not In Anger
09-06-2003, 10:32 PM
There have probably been about a million contrary posts between this and my last post but. Beer is the basis of civilization. All cultures evolved from an hunting and gathering society to a state of fixed agriculture on the basis of the knowledge that the latter was unable to consistently support brewing on at the correct speed, and with the correct transmission of knowledge. Sumeria's chief accomplishment, besides writing and the wheel, was in convincing its male citizens to stay in place and plow that semifertile soil. The area is not exactly habitable. Civilization is simply a by-product of beer-grewing, which I shouldn't have to explain to anyone who aint from Wisconsin, Chicago, or Manitoba.

Not In Anger
09-06-2003, 10:39 PM
I forgot to cite my evidence, which was that civilizations evolved in very hot countries with no possible technology for making ice cubes.

Q.E.D.
09-06-2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by Not In Anger
I forgot to cite my evidence, which was that civilizations evolved in very hot countries with no possible technology for making ice cubes. This doesn't prove anything, sorry. Civilizations evolved with no way to put food in cans or fast food restaurants or electricity either, but most places have all those things now.

Whether we should have canned food, fast food or electricity is another matter.

Cardinal
09-07-2003, 12:20 AM
This horrified attitude about ice in beer is way over the top. No one even blinks at ice in soda. What happens, does the ice soak up the alcohol, or chemically react with the hops? Get over it.

TheLoadedDog
09-07-2003, 12:44 AM
Putting ice in beer is standard in Vietnam.

On my first visit to that country eight years ago, you could not get cold beer anywhere. Refrigeration wasn't universal, and although some places had refrigerators, there were enough that didn't have them for people to get used to putting ice in warm beer, and it becoming standard practice. The ice is chipped off an enormous block of the stuff (in an old-fasioned ice chest, delivered early in the morning by cyclo). Even places that have refrigeration use it to make their own ice to put in the warm beer, and don't usually think to chill the beer itself. It usually sits on a shelf, but I've also seen cans of warm beer on top of the refrigerator! I used to arrive at a restaurant, and immediately order an ice bucket, and jam two or three cans of beer into it as soon as I could. Partly, this was because of distaste at the idea of putting ice in my beer, but it was also because the ice over there can be a ticket to Bali Belly.

When I went back to VN in 2000, a few places had "cold beer" on big garish signs outside, in the same self-conscious way motels used to say "COLOR TV!". This was mainly in more upmarket places in Saigon, and the young crowd would drink it. The old guys would order a cold beer and still put ice in it. Old Vietnamese guys in Australia often put ice in their beer. Anyway, I still found myself in places with no cold beer, and as I'd spent a lot of time in Asia that year, my guts were bullet proof, so I risked the ice.

Given that Vietnamese beer is bland rice-based Budweiser-ish stuff (or worse, locally produced Fosters - blech!), and given that it was usually a zillion degrees Fahrenheit, even at night, it wasn't so bad.

dnooman
09-07-2003, 01:05 AM
I personally find ice in milk to be more abhorrent. I'd much rather freeze my glass than put an ice cube in my beer. There's something to be said for the way a beer leaves a bit of itself on your upper lip, ice cubes bumping in to my face would ruin that. Maybe it's just me.

SkyBum
09-07-2003, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by Desmostylus
There's a right way and a wrong way to do things.

Here's the right way. (http://u-magazine.com/magazine/articles.php?article=Beer+Cubes)

That is just plain brilliant!

I can remember sitting on the deck of the White Owl on a hot summer afternoon and floating a glass filled with ice cubes in the pitcher of beer. And I've downed many a lukewarm beer before I'd water it down with ice (especially here in Utah where the 3.2 beer is practically water anyway).

bouv
09-07-2003, 03:25 AM
Originally posted by Desmostylus
There's a right way and a wrong way to do things.

Here's the right way. (http://u-magazine.com/magazine/articles.php?article=Beer+Cubes)

One question:

What in the HELL is an ice cube bag? How do you fill it? And why is a tray so hard to find for this man? Otherwise a great idea.

Mr. Sheepshead
09-07-2003, 06:36 AM
I just wanted to add that my dad will add ice if he's drinking Old Style. Even when it's coming cold out of the tap. I guess I assumed he did it to cut down the uh, 'edge' of Old Style. He will also only drink Old Style in a shoop so maybe it's a part of the Old Style ritual much like a lime is to Corona.

When he drinks any other beer, he reverts back to civilized consumption techniques.

Dr_Paprika
09-07-2003, 10:36 AM
Ice in any drink can melt and water it down if you take too much time to quaff it. If my beer isn't cold enough (although I don't personally mind warm bitter), I wouldn't hesitate to add some ice to it at home. At the bar, the beer is cold enough. The beer cube idea sounds pretty good, but then again, cubes of lime cordial might be a nice touch too, for those of use who enjoy lime and lagers on occasion.

If I added a lot of ice to my Canadian beer, and it did melt, I'd just tell people it was American. :)

(Canadian beer is actually mediocre, so I stick to Guinness and microbreweries.)

Fop
09-07-2003, 11:05 AM
There's always soapstone: http://icecube.se/English/Product.htm

gentle
09-07-2003, 11:29 AM
bouv, the ice-cube (http://mikiy.com/exhibitions/lh2003/icecubebag.htm) bag (http://designinsite.dk/htmsider/k0048.htm) is a product (http://glad.com.au/products.asp?id=5) of modern civilization. It's essentially two sheets of plastic (or more probably one folded sheet) fastened together so that they leave ice-cube-sized pockets. You fill it from a hole in the top, and small openings between the pockets lets the fluid fill the entire bag. The product I use is closed by tying two loose ends at the top.

These bags save space in the fridge, obviously never need cleaning, and the "cubes" are somewhat easier to extract than reusable products -- just twist each pocket into the glass -- but they do result in less appetizing cubes, in fact not cubes at all, but slightly oval, rounded pebbles.

When the bag is empty, it's thrown away. The product I use is made from bio-degradable polyethylene.

hawthorne
09-07-2003, 11:55 AM
As The Loaded Dog says, it's commonplace in Vietnam. FWIW, I found their beer quite satisfactory - Beer Hanoi (the cheapest) beeing better than Beer Saigon or 333. It's also known here in Australia - I've drunk Coopers Sparkling Ale (a South Australian bottle-conditioned lager) with ice cubes. It was cloudy but fine.

Larry Mudd
09-07-2003, 11:57 AM
While I can't imagine a situation in which I would ever put ice in a glass of beer, I must say that the thread title seems just a bit hyperbolic when placed in the context of its proximity to "Why does earwax remove beer foam?"

NinetyWt
09-07-2003, 02:09 PM
Really. While ice in beer is not exactly a happy thing, I have resorted to it before when my beer wasn't cold enough.

However, it just pales in comparison to earwax. Ecchh.

How in the heck can beer foam be so repulsive to you that you drink earwax ????

Little Bird
09-07-2003, 03:39 PM
It's a giant taboo on my dad's side of the family to put ice in any liquid beverage except water, alcoholic beferages which require it, and sometimes kool-aid. We will not do it. If we are thirsty, and there are no cold beverages in the fridge, we will get a warm one and wait until it chills up. At resturants I always order my pop without ice.

This, of course, is the complete 180 of the freaks on my mom's side. They keep cans and liters of pop in the basement pantry and bring them upstairs for company. They then fill cups with ice and pour in the pop, generally less pop volume-wise than ice. Then they proceed to leave the leftover cans or two liter on the counter!! They can't even put it in the fridge after taking it out of storage! I can't believe these people.

So, to recap: ice in beer is just plain wrong.

mmmiiikkkeee
09-07-2003, 07:39 PM
I've been beaten to it, but I was going to say some of you guys need to get out more. When I was in Thailand in '98 beer always had ice in it, and the locals were quite shocked when we told them that adding ice wasn't done in Canada. So it seems the same is done in Vietnam, so this would lead me to believe it's at least a SE Asian thing and no taboo over there... and they probably out number us in N America (no, I'm not interested in anyone's research on exact numbers), so I wonder which side of the debate is "right"...

Not In Anger
09-07-2003, 08:13 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dr_Paprika
[B]If I added a lot of ice to my Canadian beer, and it did melt, I'd just tell people it was American. :)

That comment was completely uncalled for. If you water down Canadian beer, then you have watered down Canadian beer, not American beer. Don't get me started on Toronto jokes, god help me.

Road Rash
09-07-2003, 09:02 PM
I did not check all the links, but the beer cubes is a novel idea.

When I go to Hooters in Houston, the waitresses always put ice cubes in the pitchers of beer. As long as they are in sealed baggies, it tastes fine.

spogga
09-08-2003, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by Not In Anger
Putting ice in beer is simply not done. In any culture, in any point of history. It ranks with incest as the #1 taboo of all time. Drinking beer warm is aceptable, though not desireable.
I thought cannibalism was the No 1 taboo, followed by ice in beer with incest a poor 3rd:D

Cerowyn
09-08-2003, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by Not In Anger
Putting ice in beer is simply not done. In any culture, in any point of history. It ranks with incest as the #1 taboo of all time. Drinking beer warm is aceptable, though not desireable. Anecdotally, I know this to be false.

Sitting in a bar here in Tokyo, I observed on a single evening three separate people putting ice in draft beer. This is not warm beer to start with, btw. As my friend (one of the three) observed, he simply prefers his beer much colder than most places serve it.

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