Every once and awhile you get caught with a short supply of cold beer (or wine or pop) and too much demand to wait for it to chill in the refrigerator. The solution is ice and there are 3 methods using ice to chill a beer fast. Please Note: if you are looking to cool your beer wort fast please check out our wort chilling article and our selection of wort chillers.
To chill beer fast, place your warm beer bottles and/or cans into a large bowl, bucket, or even the kitchen sink and cover with ice. Jiggle the beer bottles/cans every couple minutes. This will take 20-30 minutes.
If you want to chill your beer faster, adding water to the mix will knock down the cooling time to about 10 minutes.
And to chill your beer even faster yet, adding about 1 cup of salt (rock or granulated) for every 3 pounds of ice will reduce the freezing temperature of the water and cool your beer in 2-3 minutes. Make sure you mix the salt into the water then constantly jiggle the beer bottles/cans and rinse them before opening!
Tom Frank
Adventures in Homebrewing