There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold beer after a long day of work. But what’s the best way to enjoy it: bottled, canned, or straight from the tap? Many beer enthusiasts argue that draft beer tastes much better than the other options. While it’s not always fair to say that bottled or canned beer is inferior to draft beer, as the quality of draft beer depends on factors such as the cleanliness of beer lines, the freshness of kegs, and brewery management, among others. However, when all conditions are optimal, it’s likely that beer from the tap will be superior, and here are several reasons why. Let’s take a closer look.
Freshness is the main reason why people prefer the taste of draft beer over bottled or canned beer. It has a significant impact on the flavor. Beer poured from a keg is expected to be fresher (and tastier) compared to bottled beer. Draft beer remains fresh when the correct temperature and pressure are maintained. With these conditions in place, the taste of draft beer will stand out compared to other options.
Unpasteurized draft beer can stay fresh for about 45-60 days, while pasteurized draft beer can remain fresh for up to 90-120 days. Many breweries now indicate the freshness date on the lid or side of each keg as part of their brewery management process. However, it’s important to note that a tapped keg will only last for about 1-3 days, depending on the type of beer. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure the beer stays fresh from the moment it enters the bar until it’s served.
On the other hand, pressure plays a critical role in maintaining freshness. The right pressure keeps the beer carbonated and fresh from the keg to the glass. Having too much or too little pressure can affect how the beer is dispensed. Too much pressure leads to a foamy beer that pours too quickly from the faucet.
Controlling temperature and pressure manually can result in errors and ultimately affect the quality of service.
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Sure, the serving temperature of the beer is important, but it’s equally crucial to maintain a constant temperature. There’s no way to know how many times a bottled beer has been taken in and out of the fridge. The temperature fluctuations cause the beer to age faster than expected.
However, for draft beers, temperature control is also necessary. This means keeping your beer kegs at the right temperature and monitoring them after storage. Regular temperature control helps prevent spoilage, resulting in a better and fresher taste compared to bottled beers.
Have you ever noticed that most beer bottles are brown instead of clear? That’s not a coincidence! Light exposure can spoil beer. To combat this, companies use tinted glass bottles to protect the beer from spoiling. Bottled beer is inevitably exposed to light during transportation or storage, which degrades its taste.
In contrast, kegs are not exposed to any light. Unlike bottled beer, the only time the beer sees daylight is when it’s poured from the taps.