How to Chill Beer: 5 Ways to Frost Your Ale and Lager

There are few things as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot summer day. Okay, maybe two cold beers. But sometimes the unthinkable happens: someone drank all of your chilled beer (it was probably you) and the only ones left are warm. If you know how to chill beer, situations like this are no cause for panic.

We’ve got five tried-and-true ways to bring down the temperature of your bottle or can and make it quaffable ASAP. Here are five kitchen hacks for cooling beer quickly, including a trick that takes less than 30 seconds.

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1. Submerge the beer in ice water and salt.

Submerge the beer bottle or can in a bucket or large pot filled with ice water and salt. The salt lowers the freezing temperature of the mixture of ice and water, causing the ice to melt, which lowers the water’s temperature and chills the beer faster.

Chilling time: About 15 minutes.

2. Wrap your beer in a damp cloth.

Wrap the beer bottle or can in a damp cloth or paper towel, then place it in the freezer. As the water on the cloth or towel evaporates, it draws heat away from the beer, cooling it faster.

Chilling time: About 15 minutes.

3. Use a SpinChill.

Attach a SpinChill ($30) beer chilling device to the top of your beer bottle or can. Submerge the beer in a bucket or large pot filled with ice water and salt. Activate the device and it will rotate the beer in the ice water without creating additional carbonation. According to SpinChill, “spinning adds convection which drastically increases heat transfer between the hot liquid and cold ice.”

Chilling time: Under 5 minutes.

close-up of a Belgian saison beerPhoto by Stephanie Foley

4. Drill your beer.

If you’re handy with tools and want to know how to chill beer, this is the solution for you. Drill a hole in the top of a thermos cap. Securely fasten a long screw into the hole using two bolts. Attach the screw to a power drill. Submerge a beer can in a pitcher filled with ice water and salt. Place the thermos cap over the beer and activate the drill. The beer will rotate quickly and its spinning motion increases the rate of heat transfer and causes the beer to cool more quickly.

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