For many years people used to enjoy beer from the barrel. It is the old-style beer you can only find in villages and small-scale breweries. The expansion of beer drinking needed to have a standardized quality for all beer products.
That’s why big breweries evolved into great factories where draft beer wasn’t the best-case scenario for their customers.
These factories kept bottling their beer in glass bottles or aluminum cans.
There is no scientific evidence that beer molecules react with glass or aluminum particles. We all believe that draft and bottled beer keep on having the same quality all the time.
Let’s dive deeper into the differences between bottled and draft beer. Is it only their quantity, or are quality and strength affected too?
What Is Draft/Draught Beer?
Draft beer is nothing more than getting beer carbonated and trapped into a metallic keg. These types of beers are popular in restaurants and pubs, where you can find their refrigerated beer kegs with adjacent equipment.
Bartenders love draft beer since they can serve it easily and get ice cold to their customers.
However, draft beer remains vulnerable to extreme foam issues and problems with the final dispenser on the bar countertop. Draft beer is the closest you can get to beer from the barrel older people remember to enjoy when they visit small breweries.
It also creates an economy of scale for restaurants since they can increase their profit margin from draft beer. Buying bottled beer in restaurants could upraise its final price, which ends up being bad for the total consumption of beer.
Why Is Bottled Beer More Popular?
Bottled beer, on the other hand, counts for more than two-thirds of beer consumption worldwide. It is the only form of beer you can buy in supermarkets and liquor stores as a customer.
Draft beer is not available on a small scale for residential customers. That’s why bottled beer belongs to the so-called “hot market,” while draft beer is the “cold market” for beer consumption accounting for restaurants, taverns, fast food, and pubs.
Differences Between Draft and Bottled Beer
Draft beer differs from bottled in terms of carbonization. Since a dispenser allows the liberation of the beer content from the keg, it’s fresher and more carbonated when served.
However, bottled beer remains as carbonated as it was from the brewery or the factory that has been produced and delivered to the public.
Another difference is that bottled beer goes through the pasteurization process. That happens to eliminate the chance that beer gets contaminated with germs and bacteria harmful to human health. Draft beers are generally not pasteurized and, for that reason, are fresher and ready for consumption.
Finally, bottled beer may go off easier because of the bottles’ exposure to sunlight and temperature uprises. That doesn’t happen with draft beer that is carefully kept in kegs that are refrigerated at a certain temperature during the whole beer life cycle till its consumption.
Draft Beer Has the Same Alcoholic Grades Like Bottled Beer
Despite what many people think, there is absolutely no difference in the alcoholic grades between bottled and draft beer. They both end the fermentation process within the factories and breweries.
Draft and bottled beers don’t have any enzymes or beer hops in their bottles or kegs to keep on fermenting the rest of the beer.
That’s why it’s impossible for draft beer to achieve further any fermentation process that will lead to the increase of alcohol as a concentration. It seems like people in restaurants tend to drink more beer with their friends, and they think bottled beer is lighter.
Do You Get the Same Hangover with Draft and Bottled Beer?
There is absolutely no difference between the hangover you get with draft beer compared to the one with bottled beer. However, it feels like the hangover is worst with draft beer, maybe because of its enhanced carbonization.
Restaurant owners use special dispensers that increase the carbonization of draft beer to get it out of the beer keg easier. Carbon dioxide makes your draft beer a lot easier to absorb from the stomach cells. That’s why alcohol gets faster through your veins and can reach your brain, giving you a wonderful buzz in less time than with bottled beer.
Why is Draft Beer Cheaper?
Draft beer is a lot cheaper than bottled beer. You can say so from the bill you will pay in restaurants where draft beer is served. The difference is huge when you compare what you pay for the same amount of beer in a liquor store.
As mentioned before, large-scale beer breweries have fewer transportation and bottling expenses when selling draft beer compared to bottled beer. Draft beer is served in stainless steel kegs that can fit almost 40 liters of beer.
At the same time, the larger bottle of beer is no more than 0.75 liters. As you may understand, it’s a lot more profitable to sell draft beer for all customers and the medians who are involved in the beer industry production and delivery.
Can Beer Hops Work Better for Draft Beer?
Some believe that beer hops continue to live on when the draft beer is kept on a keg. That is not true. All breweries- even the smallest ones- complete their fermentation and maturation process before packing their beers in bottles, cans, or kegs.
That’s why you can’t expect to have beer hops fermenting your beer when enjoying a draft beer. The magic is gone when your beer is in a bottle or a keg. Your best luck is to visit a village brewery and try beer directly out of a wooden barrel, like in Medieval times.
Both draft and bottled beers are equally strong. It would be best if you were extremely careful and responsible with beer consumption, whether from a bottle or a keg.
Even though draft beer is ideal for restaurants, it’s impossible to enjoy it at home. Bottled beer has the same quality and gives you access to this perfect beverage no matter where you are!