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What’s cool about 27-degree beer at the fair

There’s a beer at this year’s Iowa State Fair that’s being served at 27 degrees ... because what’s the point of serving beer at a normal cold when beer can be served super cold?

The ultra-cold beer, which is the brainchild of Stan Kranovich, comes in a variety of domestics — like Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite — at $7 a pint, the same as other domestics at the fair. Kranovich runs Steer ‘N’ Stein, a beer distributor at the fair. Two of his four locations will be offering up the below-freezing brew.

Kranovich gave the scoop on where the cold beer idea came from and why it matters.

What is it, exactly?

It’s beer, duh. What makes it unique is Kranovich aims to serve it at around 25 to 27 degrees. It’s chilled in a liquid cooler that mixes cold water and air to drop the temperature — like a freezing cold jacuzzi for beer.

“It actually looks like the beer’s boiling in the bath,” Kranovich said. “Which is cool.”

Where did the idea come from?

The whole idea came to Kranovich, he said, while he was just driving down the highway in Des Moines one day after last year’s fair. He started experimenting at his shop in Altoona last September in hopes of perfecting the cooler-than-being-cool boiling beer bath. He said it took around four months to build the cooling equipment and another roughly four months to perfect the process.

“Literally the whole thing came to me in a moment, or whatever you want to call it,” he said.

How long does it last?

Kranovich said he likes to serve the beer as soon as it’s done with the chilling process — but he keeps a backup ready to meet demand. How long will it stay brain-freezing cold while you’re at the fair? That probably depends on the weather and how fast you drink. Just expect it ice cold — quite literally — when you get it.

Most importantly, what makes it better than other cold beer... like in a mug?

It’s simple: there’s no ice. Once ice is added to the beer, it changes the flavor, separating the alcohol from other ingredients — making it taste worse than a domestic would normally taste.

“A crisp, clean, cold beer... nothing beats it,” Kranovich said. “You pop the top and it’s ice cold. This is 5 degrees below ice cold. It doesn’t get any colder than this.”

Kranovich said if it goes over, all four Steer ‘N’ Stein locations will be serving 27 degree beer at next year’s fair.