Back home in Canada, bartenders love to wax poetic about the strict rules and regulations regarding the service of Guinness. That it must be poured in exactly this many seconds, and can only be served at this specific (warm) temperature, etc., is apparently a bunch of crap.
It is not unusual to come across this Extra Cold Guinness abomination here in the UK, particularly in slick corporate pubs such as The Magnum. I think this is a new thing, but maybe it has always been this way, and we Canadians just love our Guinness pouring ritual with its shamrock head sculpture as a means of dealing with our collective anxiety.
Like most things, I blame this Extra Coldness on the Lager Pimps and their relentless pursuit of market share through adjectives like ice and cold-filtered, which they use to distract consumers from the fact their product has no pleasing taste or aroma by instead focusing attention on its temperature.
Yes, that robot-looking thing at the left end of the bar is a Tennent's Lager Ice Cold spigot. It is not a transformer. Why don't they just start serving ice cubes made from Tennent's?
What is the carbon footprint associated with keeping beer colder than necessary?
Speaking of ice cold tasteless lager, Linus ordered me a Kozel, from the Czech Republic, known for its unbearable lightness of Pilsner. It was only 4% alcohol, and not super-Pilsnery, so it managed to taste okay for more than three sips. Kozel, despite its cute goat logo, is owned by SABMiller, the second largest brewery and bottler in the world.
This Extra Cold twin towers nonsense is not just reserved for Guinness. You can get an Extra Cold version of Belhaven's Best, too!