The Beer Froster is one of those devices that’s pretty easy to review. Given the name, the expectation is that it will get your brewskis very, very cold — around 24 degrees Fahrenheit — and keep them there until you’re ready to drink them. After extensive testing, I can report that it works like a charm.
Yes, there’s that old trick of throwing a six pack in your freezer for 30 minutes to chill it down quickly. But a typical home freezer gets down to zero degrees, and if you leave beer in a freezer for too long, your cans or bottles will crack or explode. And actually, the fastest way to chill any bottle or can is to submerge it in an ice bath, but that’s a temporary solution.
With this thing, just fill it and forget it. The oat sodas will stay primed in a perpetual almost-freezing state for days, weeks or months.
The Beer Froster is manufactured by Summit Appliances, a company that makes industrial fridges and freezers, like the kind you’d find holding Fanta or Ben & Jerry’s at your local convenience store. From the front, the fridge looks like your basic run-of-the-mill 1.6-cubic-foot dorm fridge (bigger sizes are available). But the cooling system inside is regulated by an extremely stable and accurate thermostat. A small LED display on the top shows the current temperature.
Ours arrived set to a default temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the manufacturer, this is the perfect setting for most beers. There’s just enough alcohol in beer to keep it from freezing at this temperature, but if you throw higher-alcohol barleywines or strong Belgian ales inside, you could go one notch colder (the lowest it will go is 23).
Adjustments are a trial-and-error affair. Low-alcohol beers and unfiltered microbrews are harder to get super-cold — pushing the temperature too far south will crack the bottles and rupture the cans, resulting in an icy, sticky, frothy and dangerously sharp mess.
I put a couple of bottles of Bear Republic IPA inside — about 7 percent alcohol — and set the temperature at 30 degrees. I placed them in a lidless Tupperware container just in case of an accidental explosion. I was able to nudge the thermostat down to 25 degrees without any breaches. And yes, subfreezing IPA tastes great. The maltiness was mellowed and the crisp snap of the hops was intensified.
Where the Beer Froster really shines is with watery domestics and imports — Bud, Tecate, Coors, Corona, Schlitz and the almighty Pabst Blue Ribbon — which taste markedly better at subfreezing temperatures. Some beers even get a pleasant layer of slush on top.
Use cans instead of bottles for the best results. The Beer Froster will get bottles just as cold, but cans don’t break as easily, and they have less mass, so they will get colder faster. Also, you can fit more cans inside the compact fridge. Put in just a few cans and the chill is noticeable after 10 or 15 minutes, and perfect in under 90 minutes. Pile a twelver in there and you’re best letting them chill for a few hours.
You’ve already got a fridge for your wine. Keeping those bottles at the perfect temperature and humidity is of utmost importance if you want to bring out those delicate hints of snozzberries. So why not have a fridge just for your beer, too?
Photo: Jim Merithew/get-gadget. Thanks to Reggie Watts for the headline.
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