If Villa Nova was a setting in a movie, you wouldn't believe it. The neighborhood hangout is perfect - almost too perfect. It's the kind of place that could only come from the compulsively pat imagination of a Hollywood screenwriter.

If Villa Nova was a setting in a movie, you wouldn't believe it. The neighborhood hangout is perfect - almost too perfect. It's the kind of place that could only come from the compulsively pat imagination of a Hollywood screenwriter.

Free snacks are served during happy hour, and there's an old-fashioned popcorn machine in the corner for help-yourself munchies anytime. The pizza is hot and crispy and just greasy enough to slide down as easy as the conversation.

That conversation is always humming. Regulars circle the round bar like old pals at a reunion, a friendly get-together that commences nightly at 5. (During our last visit, an old-timer named Jim regaled us with stories of a Buckeye baseball career that was preempted by a stint in the Navy. Jim's been going to Villa Nova for a long time.)

Then there's the beer.

Villa Nova's suds are served at bone-chilling temperatures in frozen mugs, the kind of glassware that has a comforting heft even when empty - and we managed to empty a lot of them.

Those weighty mugs keep the beer cool, too. Alive's beerologists recorded a remarkably consistent 32 degrees there - until our final visit, when Villa Nova bottomed out at 30.4 degrees.

That's the coldest beer in Columbus.

This year's search for summer refreshment took us to 16 spots nominated by Alive readers. We visited some brand-new watering holes (Roadhouse 66, Dirty Frank's) along with some old favorites in the four corners of Central Ohio.

At each stop we dropped our digital thermometer into a pint of light American lager, and the coldest temps in each week's head-to-head matchups moved on to the next round in the tournament.

The frosty final four included some classic neighborhood watering holes - Marshall's in Grandview, India-Oak in Clintonville and T.T. Murph's on the East Side - each of them serving extremely cold beer. But in the end, none could top the icy temps at Villa Nova. The refreshment there is just too perfect.

- Brian Lindamood