What Is the Difference Between Draught Beer Draft Beer and Craft Beer?

Do you know the difference between draught beer, draft beer, and craft beer?

While they may all sound similar, each type has its own unique characteristics and production methods that set them apart.

Understanding these differences can give you a deeper appreciation for the wide world of beer.

Key Takeaways

  • Draught beer is stored in a keg or barrel and served through a beer faucet, while draft beer is the American spelling of draught beer.
  • Craft beer refers to beer produced by small, independent breweries that focus on unique flavors and brewing techniques.
  • Draught beer offers a full-bodied and crisper taste compared to bottled beer, with a cold, smooth, and balanced flavor.
  • Canned draught beer provides convenient packaging for extended freshness and wider consumer access, maintaining the experience of freshly poured draught beer.

Definition of Draught Beer

Draught beer, also known as draft beer, is a type of beer that's stored in a barrel or pressurized keg and served through a beer faucet, ensuring its freshness and quality. The key difference between draught beer and its bottled or canned counterparts lies in the method of storage and serving. Craft brewers often prefer draught beer as it allows for the beer to be served in its optimal condition, preserving the flavors and aromas crafted during brewing.

The process of serving draught beer involves the use of a keg or barrel that's pressurized with carbon dioxide or a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. This method helps maintain the beer's carbonation and prevents oxidation, ultimately preserving its quality. When the beer is poured through a beer faucet, the pressure from the keg propels the beer through the tap, resulting in a smooth and consistent pour. This meticulous process ensures that the beer is served at the right temperature and with the perfect level of carbonation, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

Craft brewers take great care in the brewing and serving of draught beer, recognizing the significance of these terms in delivering a superior product to beer enthusiasts.

History of Draught Beer

The evolution of beer service methods from traditional casks to pressurized containers in the early 20th century set the stage for the history of draught beer. Initially, draught beer, also known as draft beer, was served from traditional casks, often in English pubs, while draft beer was served from pressurized containers. This marked a shift in the way beer was stored and dispensed, leading to a more consistent and efficient serving method.

Over time, small brewers began to experiment with traditional brewing processes and refined flavors, eventually giving rise to craft beer. In the 1990s, small brewers gained momentum by focusing on innovative brewing processes and high-quality ingredients in smaller batches, leading to the emergence of craft beer. Craft beer is often unfiltered and unpasteurized, retaining its unique flavors and characteristics. This sets it apart from draft beer, which is usually filtered but unpasteurized. Craft beer is known for its stronger flavors and higher alcohol content compared to the cold, fresh, and smooth characteristics of draft beer.

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As craft beer continues to gain popularity, the Tax and Trade Bureau has been instrumental in regulating the production and labeling of artisanal beer, ensuring its authenticity. Meanwhile, draft beer is typically served from stainless steel kegs, emphasizing its freshness and authenticity over canned or bottled beer.

Brewing Process for Draught Beer

When brewing draught beer, the process involves storing the beer in casks or pressurized kegs and serving it through a beer faucet. The brewing process for draught beer emphasizes creating distinct and rich flavors through the use of premium quality ingredients and unique brewing and storage techniques.

Here's what you need to know about the brewing process for draught beer:

  • Premium Quality Ingredients: Draught beer is crafted using premium quality ingredients to ensure the rich and distinct flavors that beer enthusiasts appreciate.
  • Unfiltered and Unpasteurized: Draught beer is typically unfiltered and unpasteurized to preserve its flavors and unique qualities, setting it apart from other types of beer.
  • Pressurized Dispensing: The use of pressurized kegs allows for the beer to be served through a beer faucet, providing a consistent and controlled dispensing method.
  • Small Breweries: Draught beer is often associated with small breweries that focus on quality and craftsmanship, catering to beer enthusiasts seeking unique and flavorful experiences.
  • Emphasis on Rich Flavors: The brewing process for draught beer focuses on creating distinct and rich flavors, ensuring a premium and satisfying beer-drinking experience.

Taste Profile of Draught Beer

Using a keg as the dispensing method, draught beer offers a full-bodied and crisper taste, providing a fresher experience compared to bottled beer. The taste profile of draught beer is marked by its cold, smooth, and balanced flavor, appealing to beer lovers seeking a clean and refreshing drinking experience.

Unlike craft beer, which often showcases bold and complex flavors, draught beer focuses on maintaining freshness and drinkability. The serving method and storage of draught beer play a crucial role in preserving its taste. Typically, draught beer has a moderate alcohol content, ranging from 3-4% ABV, contributing to its widespread appeal. Small breweries often prioritize the taste of draught beer, ensuring that it remains crisp and lively.

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The brewing methods employed for draught beer aim to deliver a consistent and fresh beer, appreciated by those who enjoy a milder yet flavorful taste. For beer enthusiasts, the taste of draught beer represents a harmonious blend of flavors, making it a popular choice for a refreshing and enjoyable drinking experience.

Appearance of Draught Beer

With its creamy and thick head upon pouring, draught beer presents a visually distinct and appealing appearance. When you take a look at a glass of draught beer, you'll notice its unique characteristics:

  • The beer often has a hazy or cloudy appearance due to the presence of yeast or unfiltered particles, adding to its rustic and artisanal appeal.
  • The color of draught beer varies widely, ranging from pale gold to deep amber or brown, providing a diverse visual experience based on the style of beer.
  • Draught beer's appearance is often characterized by lively carbonation, creating bubbles that rise and enhance the overall aesthetic of the beer, making it an inviting and frothy drink.
  • Some draught beers may showcase lacing, where the foam clings to the glass, leaving intricate patterns as the beer is consumed, adding to its visual allure and enhancing the drinking experience.
  • The visual appeal of draught beer is often a result of the traditional serving method from a keg via a beer faucet or tap, frequently associated with small breweries and artisanal beer production, contributing to its distinct and captivating appearance.

Storage of Draught Beer

The quality and flavor of draught beer are intricately tied to its storage conditions. It requires a cool, dark environment to maintain its distinctive characteristics and appeal. When stored, it's crucial to keep the beer away from direct light and extreme temperature changes, as these factors can degrade the quality of the beer. Additionally, proper storage involves ensuring that the beer is stored upright, which helps minimize oxidation and keeps the yeast settled at the bottom of the keg.

Small brewers, in particular, should pay close attention to the storage of their draught beer to preserve its unique flavor profile.

Maintaining the pressurized dispensing system is also vital for preserving the flavor of draught beer. The keg's seal should be airtight to prevent oxygen from entering, which can lead to off-flavors. Furthermore, regular cleaning and maintenance of the storage area and equipment are necessary to prevent contamination, which could negatively impact the beer's flavor.

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The ideal storage temperature for draught beer ranges between 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring that the beer maintains its optimal flavor and quality.

Size & Production of Draught Beer

Draught beer is typically produced and stored in larger quantities, often in kegs or casks, to facilitate distribution and consumption in commercial establishments. The size and production scale of draught beer are tailored for widespread distribution and consumption in commercial settings.

Here are some key points you should know about the size and production of draught beer:

  • Bulk Storage: Draught beer is stored and served in larger quantities, commonly in kegs or casks, suitable for commercial use.
  • Commercial Delivery: It's produced and delivered in bulk for consumption in bars, restaurants, and similar establishments.
  • Optimized Production: The production process of draught beer is optimized for efficient large-scale storage and dispensing.
  • Specialized Dispensing: Draught beer is commonly served through specialized tap systems, allowing for convenient and controlled pouring.
  • Commercial Distribution: The size and production scale of draught beer are specifically designed for widespread distribution and consumption in commercial settings.

Draught beer production varies significantly between small brewers and larger brewers, with the latter often producing millions of barrels per year. Additionally, draught beer is commonly packaged in containers suitable for pressurized dispensing, which must comply with regulations such as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's requirements.

Can Draught Beer Be Sold Canned?

Draught beer, traditionally served from a keg or cask, can now be conveniently packaged in cans for extended freshness and wider consumer access. This innovation has been embraced by small brewers and craft beer enthusiasts alike.

Canning draught beer allows for the preservation of its unique flavors and aromas, ensuring that consumers can enjoy the beer as if it were freshly poured from a keg. The pressurized dispensing and sealing process involved in canning draught beer effectively maintains its quality over time, offering consumers the assurance of a premium draught beer experience.

By being sold in cans, draught beer gains portability and can be easily stored in a refrigerator or cooler, making it ideal for various social settings. This approach also provides breweries with an opportunity to offer a broader range of draught beer options, catering to diverse consumer preferences.

Ultimately, the availability of canned draught beer enhances the overall accessibility and enjoyment of this beloved beverage.