Back in December, the folks on Gizmodo posted an article detailing the fastest way to cool down a beer.
The full article is here, but a quick summary is below.
Putting a beer in an ice water bath will cool it down quicker than putting it in the freezer, at least to a point. At some point the temperature of the ice water bath (assuming it’s out in the open air) isn’t going to get as low as the freezer. Once that point is reached, the freezer is your better bet.
What the author didn’t test was whether putting a beer in an ice water bath INSIDE a freezer would speed up the cooling even more. I have some suspicion it might, since an ice water bath in normal room temperature is probably transferring a lot of its coolness to the air in the room rather than the beer – while one in the freezer has a cooler ambient temperature and may draw more heat out of the beer than the room.
Unfortunately, my freezer is too full to test that theory right now…