Have You Discovered the Joys of Draught Beer?
Does beer taste better from a bottle or a tap? You will hear beer fans all over the world discussing this question or some variation of it. Is it draught or draft? In the UK, it is draught while in the US it is draft. Both terms refer to beer that is drawn from a tap. Draught beer is not a new phenomenon. Beer has been stored in kegs for hundreds of years. But today’s kegs are pressurised while brewers have become more adventurous in experimenting with different flavours.
Brewers have stored beer in kegs for hundreds of years. It is said that medieval monks discovered wooden kegs keep beer fresh for longer. Pressurized kegs were invented in the 20th century. They made stored beer more stable, and easier to pour. The term draught beer is largely used to refer to beer in pressurized kegs.
Draught beer has become quite popular in recent years. You will find keg dispensers even in the trendiest pubs and restaurants. A good number of beer enthusiasts are also keeping beer kegs at home. There are beer dispenser UK shop offers to suit all kinds of entertainment joints or home use.
Draught beer had waned in popularity because of economics. Brewers have largely preferred storing beer in bottles and cans because they are cheaper, and easier for shipping and logistics. Many beer fans have had no other alternatives, other than bottles and cans.
But draught beer has regained popularity in recent years. Small craft breweries prefer storing their beer in kegs because their customer base is smaller. These craft brands are pulling in customers because of their varied flavours, and in extent popularized draught beer.
What Makes Draught Beer Fresh and Flavourful?
Beer fans say beer straight from the tap feels cooler and fresher than bottled beer. Brewing enthusiasts say the way this beer is brewed and stored has a lot to do with these nuances in flavour.
Beer stored in aluminium kegs keeps a stable temperature than beer in cans or bottles. Beer kegs are highly pressurised which further helps to keep the temperature stable. A beer keg will usually feel cool to touch because the temperature is typically 12 °C.
Many people prefer cold beer. You will usually fetch a can or bottle from the fridge and consume it straightaway. But freezing beer tastes flat and bland. Beer from a keg is at the right temperature; neither too warm nor too cold. At this ideal beer temperature, it feels cool, fresh, and flavourful. It also forms a proper head.
Draught beer is meant for quick consumption. It avoids the oxidation that comes with long-life storage, as happens with bottled or canned beer. The beer tastes fresh, especially in an establishment with high foot traffic.
An aluminium keg blocks out light, which protects the beer from degradation from UV rays. The chemical composition remains stable, which maintains the flavour. Draught beer does not have high carbon levels because of its shorter shelf life. Carbonation gives beer a slightly bitter taste, and distorts the flavour, which is a problem with canned and bottled beer.
What About Bottled ‘Draft’ Beer?
There are several brands touting bottled ‘draft’ beer. It is just clever marketing because that is technically incorrect. It gives the impression of packing beer from the keg into bottles or cans. Beer marketers know the pulling power of the word ‘draft’ which they ride on to catch the attention of beer buyers. The taste and flavour of such beer will quickly uncover this trick.
If you are a budding beer enthusiast, it is hard to overlook draught beer. Walk into the nearest pub or restaurant and sample it. It might change your beer preferences.