Have you ever thought about the science behind shower beers? Are they so awesome because beer and showers are so awesome, or is there more to it than that?
Having a beer in the shower is objectively awesome because the juxtaposition of an ice-cold beer in a hot, steamy shower is extremely pleasant. That brew is also scientifically better than it would be otherwise because a hot shower actually enhances your senses of smell and taste, making your beer actually taste better.
Keep reading to learn more about shower beers, their origins, and the actual scientific evidence behind their absolute awesomeness.
Are shower beers a thing?
As long as there’s been beer, people have been inventing new ways to drink it. One of the simplest has got to be the shower beer.
If you think you and your friends from college invented shower beers, think again. Shower beers have appeared on the internet and in pop culture for decades.
Most recently, a shower beer showed up in The Way Back, starring Ben Affleck. In this instance, the shower beer is used as a rather depressing indicator of the ways in which the character’s life has gone awry.
A few years ago, grizzled comedian Kyle Kinane explained that he drinks in the shower because, “everyone deserves a spa day in this world.”
When did shower beer become a thing?
Though the Reddit thread r/showerbeer has only been around since 2011 (warning: some images are NSFW!), mentions of “shower beer” on the internet date back further than that.
The term “shower beer” first showed up on Urban Dictionary in 2004. According to The Daily Dot’s “Internet History of the Showerbeer”, it can be traced back as far as 1999.
But the humble shower beer’s origins no doubt go back much, much further than that. Though no concrete First Shower Beer has ever been established, according to Scott Kerkmans, the Brewing Program Director for the Metropolitan State University of Denver, “Beer is older than the concept of showering, so I guess I would say a couple days after the first shower was installed.”
Since we’re on the topic of college drinking, you might as well check out our article on shotgunning beer!
Regardless of the shower beer’s origins, it’s certainly seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years. Google trends show that instances of the search term have been trending upwards since 2010.
Why do beers taste better in the shower?
Anyone who has ever had a shower beer knows there’s something about the combination of cold beer and hot water that’s ultra-refreshing. After a long day in the sun or even when getting ready for a fun evening, there’s nothing that beats a shower beer.
In addition to the pleasant interplay of temperature, the heat of a shower also makes aroma molecules from beer, soap, or anything else in your shower move around more. This means you smell more aromas in the shower, and because smell is so closely tied to taste, you’ll also taste your beer more intensely.
According to Dr. Christopher Hollingworth of NYC Surgical Associates, a shower beer can even “improve productivity and creativity” due to the release of dopamine from both the shower and the beer itself. This can relax your mind and get your creative juices flowing.
But don’t overdo it. Alcohol is a depressant and too much of it will have the opposite effect.
Do shower beers get you drunk faster?
Some proponents of shower beers swear that they get you drunk faster than drinking a beer anywhere else, but there’s not much scientific evidence to back this up.
Having a beer in the shower doesn’t get you drunk any faster than having that same beer anywhere else. Theoretically, because heat opens up your blood vessels, you may absorb alcohol slightly faster. But the amount of alcohol in the average beer is low enough that you probably won’t notice.
If taking a long shower or bath, be aware of having too many beers or alcoholic beverages of any kind. This effect will be much more noticeable and drinking to the point of excess in any very hot environment is dangerous.
What is the best shower beer?
It should come as no surprise that, when it comes to shower beers, there really are no rules. Whatever kind of beer is in your fridge, chances are, it’ll taste great in the shower.
The best shower beer is any beer you like that’s ice cold. This is because the interplay between the cold beer and the hot shower is so completely satisfying.
Dark, rich beers like stouts and porters may feel a bit too heavy for the shower. Lagers like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling are always tastiest at their coldest, so they are great for bringing into the shower. Their lighter counterparts like Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Coors Light are also absolutely delicious in a hot shower. If you find these beers too light on flavor or watered down on a normal day, you may enjoy them more than you think in the shower!
Hoppy beers like Pale Ales and IPAs can also be really refreshing. A lot of people enjoy these beers on a hot summer day and a hot shower is no exception. Some favorites include Dale’s Pale Ale and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
How to enjoy a shower beer
Ready to crack open a cold one and hit the shower? Follow these simple steps for the most relaxing shower beer experience. You earned it.
- Choose your beer.
Whatever beer you choose, make sure it’s ice cold. Don’t pull it out of the fridge until right before you’re ready to get in the shower.
- Pick a sturdy spot in your shower to keep the beer when you’re not drinking it.
You’ll no doubt need to set down your beer to lather up in the shower, so make sure you have a good place to set it down. Certain surfaces in the shower can get slippery when wet so make sure you’re resting it somewhere where you won’t lose a whole can of precious beer down the drain.
Shower beer aficionados can invest in a beer holder designed specifically for holding beers in the shower. For under $15 you can pick up a suction cup one with a fun design or one of many velcro-based grippers with classic, koozie-style designs.
Be sure to post your beer up in a spot where it won’t get water or soap in it!
- Take your shower and drink up!
Don’t overthink it. Get the shower steamy and let the ice cold beer cool you from the inside. Whether you’re relaxing after a busy day or getting pumped up for a long night, enjoy it!