When arriving at a bar, many people prefer their beer in bottles, others prefer their draught beer, and many more have no idea. If you are one of these people, we invite you to keep reading so you can understand why a tap beer tastes different from a bottled one.
Draught beers have a history that goes back to the origins of the beer itself, dating back 400 years, right after the adoption of hops in England. Traditional brewers, especially those who made spontaneously fermented beers, used barrels as the primary containers since the 11th century.
The barrels managed to keep the beers more robust, as they could mature in these containers for months without turning into vinegar.
With custom beer taps, the beer is better preserved and not exposed to oxidation since it works with a pressure pump that pushes the beer to the dispenser. Once the barrel is opened, it lasts approximately ten days versus beer in a bottle, which lets the gas protect the beer from escaping once opened.
The gas is added to the bottled beer during or after the fermentation process but bottled, it is not counted anymore. Draught beers are generally carbonated by injection of various levels of CO2 and sometimes nitrogen. If the custom beer taps are well handled, they have the great advantage that the gas level can be controlled to some extent, even when connected to the faucet. Some drinkers make them change their taste, which has been denied by several brewery experts. However, many prefer this format for its freshness, body, and foam.
One of the main reasons given by those who favor alcoholic beer kegs is the consistent foam formed when serving it. This is mainly because the beer is packaged “under pressure” inside the barrel. This gives the beer more body and allows it to stay fresh longer, and protects the beer from air and light, known enemies of the drink. Unfortunately, when alcoholic beer kegs are almost empty, the ability to generate this foam is greatly diminished. Besides, you have to know how to pour a keg of beer.
Light and air can cause a lot of damage to the beer; in this sense, the kegs of beer with alcohol being metallic protect the beer better from these agents if compared to the protection given by the bottle.
The beer before being bottled is pasteurized; even some brands do second pasteurization with the beer already bottled; on the other hand, according to the brand, especially the handcrafted ones, offer kegs of beer with alcohol without pasteurization that according to the criteria of the most expert achieves a product with better flavor.
Experts say that this traditional way of serving beer has a specific ritual. The first thing to do is refresh the glass to clean impurities and make the beer slippery and not create foam. You have to discard the first squirt of beer that comes out of the tap because it is rusty. Then, you have to fill the glass up to 3/4 parts with an inclination of about 45º. Then, the tap is closed, and the beer is crowned with cream, which is achieved by opening the tap again but very little so that a small thread of cream falls, which is called a wool thread or a mouse tail. The filling with cream is up to the edge. This cream has a texture and a bubble thinner than the foam. And therefore, the beer goes in more comfortably.