Why Is Beer Always Better On Tap

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Any beer lover will tell you that draught beer tastes better than bottled or canned beer. But is this actually true? Or is it just a perception that has built over time? It could just be in our heads, but if not, then why is beer always better on tap?

There are several reasons that draught beer tastes better. However the conditions have to be right, otherwise the bottle or can of beer could come out the winner.

Why Is Beer Always Better On Tap?

The reasons why draught beer is better are: One, time, draught beer is normally fresher than bottles or cans. Two, temperature is a factor, a keg is normally kept at a more consistent temperature. Three, exposure to light can degrade beer. Finally a draught beer has a different carbonation level created by the system it runs through.

But all those factors have to be right to beat the bottle or can.

Does Draught Beer Really Taste Better?

Why Is Beer Always Better On Tap

I would say that draught beer has all the tools to be the best a beer can be. However this will depend on how well a pub or bar looks after the beer they serve.

If they care for the beer correctly, then it is hard to beat a beer from the tap.

What are the factors that potentially make draught beer better than a bottle or can of beer?

How Old Is The Beer?

Apart from some ales or stouts that can be aged and get better with age, as long as they are stored correctly. Most beer is brewed to be consumed fresh. or as fresh as possible.

This is where the keg or barrel can win over the bottle or can. A keg travels straight from the brewery to the pub or bar. It then gets hooked up to the tap system and poured into the glass.

A bottle or can could be stored for a lot longer. Time may be spent in a warehouse or distribution centre. Then in a storeroom at the store it arrives at. Also once it hits the shelf it may be there for a while too.

There is not as much control over how long a bottle or can have been around before we finally take them home.

So time is on the side of the keg, and the beer is almost always fresher from a keg at your favourite bar.

How Cold Is Your Beer?

While different beers may be served at different temperatures. The storage temperature for beer should be consistent.

A keg will be stored at the right temperature while at the brewery. Transportation maybe the only time a keg fluctuates in temperature.

Once at the pub or bar, it is then stored at a consistent temperature. This will normally be in a cellar or temperature controlled room.

A bottle or can of beer may experience many many more temperature fluctuations during its journey from the brewery to our home.

This can affect the beer in the bottle or can and degrade the taste of the beer.

How Exposed Is Your Beer?

Light is not a friend of beer, they just don’t get on. And this is where a can wins with the keg over beer in a bottle.

As we know, apart from some exceptions most breweries will use dark tinted bottles. This is to cut down the amount of light that can get to the beer inside.

Light will degrade the beer, so bottles have a definite downfall to kegs or cans. Beer from a keg or a can only sees the light of day as it is poured.

How Fizzy Is Your Beer?

A beer poured from the tap has a different carbonation level to that of beer from a bottle or can. This results in a different mouthfeel, smooth and creamy.

A draught system set up right for the beer it is serving uses carbon dioxide and/or nitrogen under pressure to deliver the beer from the tap to the glass.

This gives the right amount of carbonation for the beer being served. Giving the beer drinker the best possible experience.

Always Pour Your Beer Into A Glass

A beer served from the tap is always poured into a glass. Many times in the glass the brewery designed for its beer.

This has a bearing on the release of aromas which enhance our taste experience. Part of what we taste comes from what we smell. So a beer served in a glass will give us the best experience.

Drinking beer for the can or bottle will supress its aromas. To get the best out of a bottle or can of beer, always pour it into a glass.

Draught Beer As An Experience

Drinking a draught beer has always been perceived as a better experience than from a bottle or can. This also has a bearing on why we think beer is better on tap.

Its what the pub and bar represent. A fresh beer poured from the tap by a friendly bartender. On top of that we enjoy our beer with friends, or meet new ones. The whole atmosphere heightens the experience.

Therefore, unless the pub or bar have disregarded all care for the beer, it will always taste better from the tap.

Final Thoughts

Although there are tangible reasons why draught beer is almost always better than bottle or canned beer. A certain amount of the better experience comes down to how we think about it.

We expect a draught beer to be better, hell everybody knows its better. Therefore it is better because we believe it to be better.

With many now having draught systems at home, I guess another question could be. Does draught beer taste better at home or in a pub?

But that is a question for another day.

What about you, what are your views about the draught, bottle and can debate. Do share your thoughts below

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