Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.
Print Email

Feature

Drunk by Degrees

City Paper's Hard-Drinking I-Team Goes in Search of the Coldest Beer in Town

Posted 5/21/2003

"Ain't the beer cold!" So veteran Orioles announcer Chuck Thompson exclaimed when good things were going on for the home team--a bases-loaded blast over the fence, or a neatly turned triple play. "Ain't the beer cold!"

The lesson drawn here is elementary: cold beer = good. But how cold? And where cold? Or, to cut right to the chase, where can you find the coldest draft beer in Baltimore? With another torrid, torturous summer about to descend, inquiring minds--and parched tongues--want to know. And so as a public service (and not simply as an excuse to knock off early and loiter in bars, despite what you might have heard), City Paper's intrepid Adult Beverage Temperature Investigation Unit (the I-Team for short) hit the rails and the stools to find out. Armed with Korean-made digital thermometers (model 300NSF/B with optional protective rubber boot), we temp-tested brews from Curtis Bay to Mount Washington--100 bars in all. OK, OK, the City Liquor Board will tell you there are 1,085 outlets for on-premise beer consumption in Baltimore. (Hey, we couldn't knock off that early.) We tried to come up with a Charm City cross section, dipping our things in bars both trendy and tucked-in-the-hood.

Yes, the coldest beer we sampled came from Pimlico Race Course--sloshing about in a plastic cup no less. It was actually below freezing (a feat possible thanks to the alcohol in beer, which knocks its ice point back a few degrees). Hmmm . . . maybe it's taps, not slots, that will save Old Hilltop. We give a special Cost-for-Coldness Award to L.P. Docks. Not only does this Locust Point local serve Bud at a tongue-numbing 33.9 degrees, but it'll sell you a frosted mug of the stuff for 25 cents. No, that's not a typo. (The Fine Print: This two-bits-a-beer deal flies only on Tuesdays; it's a very small place, so let's not all go at once.) One glaring omission from our tap temp table is Oriole Park at Camden Yards. But then, after the cellar-dwelling Detroit Tigers swept us earlier this month, we figured the only cold things over at the Yard are the Birds' bats.

If you see a lot of Bud and Yuengling on the list, know this is by design. Indeed, for consistency's sake--and because thin, American-style lagers are supposed to be served as cold as possible--I-Teamers were instructed to order the ubiquitous Bud whenever possible. (Failing that, some other thin, American-style lager would do.) Beer wonks will tell you that microbrews and certain froufrou imports aren't supposed to be served icy cold. Their complex tastes are better appreciated when poured somewhere left of tepid.

Yeah, whatever. When it's a 102-degree day here in August we know what we're going to reach for. And now we know where to do the reachin'.

The List in Order From #1 Coldest to #100 Not Coldest

1. "Smokey T beer," Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., (410) 542-9400, Budweiser, 31.8"
2. Backstreets Pub, 1901 Bank St., (410) 563-1612, Yuengling, 32.5"
3. Hon Bar, 1000 W. 36th St., (410) 243-3001, Yuengling, 33.4"
4. L.P. Docks, 1476 Reynolds St., (410) 539-1110, Budweiser, 33.9"
5. Rendezvous Lounge, 134 W. 25th St., (410) 467-3860, Budweiser, 34.3"
6. Sooner's Tavern, 1600 Hazel St., (410) 355-7226, Budweiser, 34.5"
7. Thumper's, 4600 Curtis Ave., (410) 355-9715, Budweiser, 34.6"
8. Xando Coffee and Bar, 3303 N. Charles St., (410) 889-7076, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, 34.7"
9. Joe's Bar, 6200 Reisterstown Road, (410) 358-5833, Budweiser, 34.7"
10. Pisces, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 300 Light St., (410) 605-2835, Bud Light, 34.8"
11. Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood, Cross Street Market, 1065 S. Charles St., (410) 685-2020, Bud Light, 34.9"
12. Super Star Inn, 5603 Pulaski Highway, (410) 483-2575, Budweiser, 35.0"
13. Enrico's Sports Bar, 200 S. Haven St., (410) 327-6752, Pabst Blue Ribbon, 35.7"
14. Stock Market Bar, 3538 S. Hanover St., (410) 355-9735, Budweiser, 36.2"
15. O'Brady's Crab House, 3432 S. Hanover St., (410) 355-9040, Budweiser, 36.2"
16. Davey Jones' Locker, 800 S. Dean St., (410) 675-7410, Budweiser, 36.3"
17. Dimitri's Tavern, 3820 Falls Road, (410) 889-9545, Budweiser, 36.4"
18. Swallow at the Hollow, 5921 York Road, (410) 532-7542, Budweiser, 36.6"
19. American Harry's Bar, 625 S. Luzerne Ave., (410) 276-9654, Budweiser, 36.9"
20. Camden Pub, 647 W. Pratt St., (410) 547-1280, Yuengling, 37.1"
21. Owl Bar, Belvedere Hotel, 1 E. Chase St., (410) 347-0888, Yuengling, 37.1"
22. Peter's Pour House, 111 Mercer St., (410) 539-5818, Miller Lite, 37.2"
23. Pol's Café, 2619-21 Foster Ave., (410) 732-2555, Budweiser, 37.5"
24. Sportmen's Sport, 501 S. Lehigh St., (410) 276-9376, Budweiser, 37.6"
25. ESPN Zone, Power Plant, 601 E. Pratt St., (410) 685-3776, Budweiser, 37.8"
26. Hippo, 1 W. Eager St., (410) 547-0069, Yuengling, 38.0"
27. Mount Royal Tavern, 1204 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 669-6686, Yuengling, 38.2"
28. DSX, 200 W. Pratt St., (410) 659-5844, Yuengling, 39.3"
29. Gallagher's Bar and Grill, 940 S. Conkling St., (410) 327-3966, Budweiser, 39.7"
30. Mount Vernon Stable and Saloon, 909 N. Charles St., (410) 685-7427, Yuengling, 40.0"
31. Northside Bar, 3100 Greenmount Ave., (410) 243-9647, Budweiser, 40.3"
32. Whistling Oyster, 807 S. Broadway, (410) 342-7282, Miller Lite, 40.5"
33. Danny and Shameen's Glenmore Tavern, 6016 Harford Road, (410) 254-3029, Budweiser, 40.5"
34. Tugboat Ann's, 529 S. Bond St., (410) 276-9592, Budweiser, 40.5"
35. City Café, 1001 Cathedral St., (410) 539-4252, Yuengling, 40.6"
36. Admiral's Cup, 1645 Thames St., (410) 522-6731, Miller Lite, 41.0"
37. Rocky Run Tap and Grill, 3105 St. Paul St., (410) 235-2501, Yuengling, 41.1"
38. PJ's Pub, 3333 N. Charles St., (410) 243-8844, Yuengling, 41.1"
39. Curb Shop, 5736 Falls Road, (410) 433-8299, Yuengling, 41.3"
40. Howl at the Moon, Power Plant Live!, 22 Market Place, (410) 783-5111, Killian's Irish Red, 41.4"
41. Lithuanian Hall, 851 Hollins St., (410) 685-5787, Yuengling, 41.5"
42. Griffith's Tavern, 3631 Hickory Ave., (410) 366-9214, Budweiser, 41.7"
43. Gin Mill, 2300 Boston St., (410) 327-6455, Miller Lite, 42.5"
44. Charles Village Pub, 3107 St. Paul St., (410) 243-1611, Yuengling, 42.5"
45. Edgar's Billiards Club, 1 E. Pratt St., (410) 752-8080, Budweiser, 42.6"
46. Jerry's Belvedere Tavern, 5928 York Road, (410) 435-8600, Budweiser, 42.8"
47. Miss Irene's, 1738 Thames St., (410) 522-0582, Yuengling, 42.9"
48. DeGroen's Grill, 104 Albemarle St., (410) 837-5000, DeGroen's Marzen, 43.0"
49. B&O Tavern, 1301 W. Pratt St., (410) 539-8808, Pabst Blue Ribbon, 43.2"
50. Coconuts Café, 311 W. Madison St., (410) 383-6064, Budweiser, 43.3"
51. City Limits Sports Bar, 1700 E. Fort Ave., (410) 347-2572, Budweiser, 43.4"
52. Ropewalk Tavern, 1209 S. Charles St., (410) 727-1298, Harp, 43.5"
53. Henninger's Tavern, 1812 Bank St., (410) 342-2172, Anchor Steam Amber, 43.5"
54. Long John's Pub, 398 W. 29th St., (410) 235-2426, Yuengling, 43.7"
55. Claddagh Pub, 2918 O'Donnell St., (410) 522-4220, Budweiser, 43.9"
56. Chuck's Place, 3137 Eastern Ave., (410) 675-3191, Yuengling, 43.9"
57. Mother's Federal Hill Grille, 1113 S. Charles St., (410) 244-8686, Amstel Light, 44.0"
58. Antney's Bar and Grill, 1018 Eastern Ave., (410) 685-8649, Yuengling, 44.0"
59. Atlantis, 615 Fallsway, (410) 727-9099, Coors Light, 44.3"
60. Kisling's Tavern, 2100 Fleet St., (410) 327-5477, Yuengling, 44.3"
61. Birds of a Feather, 1712 Aliceanna St., (410) 675-8466, DeGroen's Marzen, 44.3"
62. Mount Washington Tavern, 5700 Newbury St., (410) 367-6903, Yuengling, 44.4"
63. Pickles Pub, 520 Washington Blvd., (410) 752-1784, Yuengling, 44.4"
64. Hull Street Blues Café, 1222 Hull St., (410) 727-7476, McHenry's, 44.7"
65. Midtown Yacht Club, 15 E. Centre St., (410) 837-1300, Clipper City Pale, 44.7"
66. Depot, 1728 N. Charles St., (410) 528-0174, Bud Light, 44.7"
67. Dead Freddies, 7209 Harford Road, (410) 254-8373, Budweiser, 45.0"
68. New Haven Lounge, Northwood Plaza, 1552 Havenwood Road, (410) 366-7416, Budweiser, 45.0"
69. Club Charles, 1724 N. Charles St., (410) 727-8815, Yuengling, 45.0"
70. Brewer's Art, 1106 N. Charles St., (410) 547-6925, Pale Ale, 45.4"
71. Wharf Rat, 801 S. Ann St., (410) 276-9034, Yuengling, 45.5"
72. Bertha's, 734 S. Broadway, (410) 327-5795, McHenry's, 45.5"
73. Club Zissimos, 1023 W. 36th St., (410) 467-4707, Budweiser, 45.5"
74. Frazier's on the Avenue, 919 W. 36th St., (410) 662-4914, Yuengling, 45.6"
75. Sean Bolan's Irish Pub, 1236 Light St., (410) 837-4440, Harp, 45.8"
76. John Steven Ltd., 1800 Thames St., (410) 327-5561, Rolling Rock, 46.6"
77. Sidebar Tavern, 218 E. Lexington St., (410) 659-4130, Rolling Rock, 47.2"
78. Talking Head, 203 Davis St., (410) 962-5588, Pabst Blue Ribbon, 47.2"
79. Duda's Tavern, 1600 Thames St., (410) 276-9719, Miller Lite, 47.2"
80. Little Havana Restaurante y Cantina, 1325 Key Highway, (410) 837-9903, Yuengling, 47.3"
81. Geckos, 2318 Fleet St., (410) 732-1961, Budweiser, 47.3"
82. Faidley Seafood, Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., (410) 727-4898, Budweiser, 47.5"
83. Simon's Pub, 2031 E. Fairmont Ave., (410) 522-4477, Liberty Ale, 47.5"
84. Kooper's Tavern, 1702 Thames St., (410) 563-5423, Miller Lite, 47.5"
85. Fletcher's, 701 S. Bond St., (410) 558-1889, Budweiser, 47.6"
86. Dougherty's Pub, 223 W. Chase St., (410) 752-4059, Yuengling, 48.0"
87. Mick O'Shea's Irish Pub, 328 N. Charles St., (410) 539-7504, Yuengling, 48.1"
88. Dizzy Issie's, 300 W. 30th St., (410) 235-0171, Miller Lite, 48.5"
89. Central Station Pub, 1001 N. Charles St., (410) 752-7133, Yuengling, 48.6"
90. One World Café, 100 W. University Parkway, (410) 235-5777, Yuengling, 48.6"
91. Kelly's, 2108 Eastern Ave., (410) 327-2312, Yuengling, 48.7"
92. Leon's, 870 Park Ave., (410) 539-4993, Miller Lite, 48.7"
93. Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069, Dos Equis, 48.9"
94. Downtown Southern Blues, 889 N. Howard St., (410) 728-4889, Yuengling, 49.1"
95. J. Patrick's Irish Pub, 1371 Andre St., (410) 244-8613, Yuengling, 49.9"
96. Max's on Broadway, 735 S. Broadway, (410) 675-6297, Budweiser, 50.5"
97. Friends at Fells Point, 1634 Aliceanna St., (410) 732-3885, Miller Lite, 52.8"
98. Mum's, 1132 S. Hanover St., (410) 547-7415, Budweiser, 54.3"
99. Horse You Came in On, 1626 Thames St., (410) 327-8111, Bud Light, 56.2"
100. Butts and Betty's, 2200 Gough St., (410) 276-9186, Busch, 56.4"

Related stories

Feature archives

More Stories

Sizzlin' Summer (5/19/2010)
Our annual comprehensive guide to surviving, thriving, and diverting yourself until September

The Scenic Route (5/19/2010)
Rediscovering the countryside from a skinny-ass bike seat

Parks and Rec (5/19/2010)

Related by keywords

Stay Frosty : The City Paper I-Team™ once again searches for the coldest beer in Baltimore 5/20/2009

Clipper City's 1st Beer, Cheese, and Chili Festival in Feedbag 2/26/2009

Belgian Beer Festival at Max's Taphouse in Feedbag 2/13/2009

Best Cocktail : The Old Fashioned At Henninger's Tavern 9/17/2008

Best Cocktail Menu : Pepino's 9/17/2008

Best Local Bottled Beer : Clipper City Oxford Organics 9/17/2008

Best Blueberry Beer : The Dog Pub 9/17/2008

Best Local Draft Beer : Oliver's Anniversary Best Bitter 9/17/2008

Best Beer Selection : Racers Café 9/17/2008

Best Opportunity For Free Whiskey : Alexander's 9/17/2008

Tags: beer temps, booze

Comments powered by Disqus
Calendar
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter