It's become a cherished annual tradition here at Alive. Every summer, when the temperatures start to become unbearably hot, we go out in search of the coldest beer in Columbus.

It's become a cherished annual tradition here at Alive. Every summer, when the temperatures start to become unbearably hot, we go out in search of the coldest beer in Columbus.

And lest you think this is all some sort of half-assed excuse for us to drink on the job, believe me, this is actual scientific research. With thermometers and notebooks and cameras. After three years at this, we thought we knew pretty much all there was to know about cold beer in Columbus.

We were wrong.

We decided to widen the playing field this year to let bottles and cans compete with returning champions from the draft beer category, and we learned an important lesson.

If you really want ice-cold beer - the kind that's just on the verge of actually being a beer slushy, the kind that gives you immediate brain freeze, the kind that's so cold you can't even really taste what you're drinking - you should be drinking bottles.

Objective:

To determine which bar serves the coldest beer in the city, and whether the lowest temperatures come in draft, bottle or can form.

Hypothesis:

Our initial guess was that with a thin sheet of metal as an exterior, cans would deliver icier beer than our previous draft winners.

Method:

Just as in years past, our expert beerologists canvassed the city to order cold beer at all kinds of places - previous Coldest Beer champs, neighborhood watering holes, swanky Short North spots, dive bars and the kinds of places you can drink PBR tallboys.

We used our trusty digital thermometer to take a reading of light American lager in a pint, bottle or tallboy.

Conclusion:

Our top contenders in the bottled beer categories blew everyone else out of the water. Seriously, three of the bottles we measured fell into the 20-degree range, which is basically a beer popsicle.