Draft beer is a popular beverage that is enjoyed by many people around the world. It is a type of beer that is stored in a barrel or keg and served from a tap. Unlike bottled or canned beers, draft beer has a unique flavor and texture that many beer enthusiasts prefer.
There are different types of draft beer, including cask ales, lager beers, and keg beers. Draft beer is served straight from the keg or cask and goes through a carbonation method that is not used for bottled or canned beer. This process affects the beer itself, giving it a fresher and more flavorful taste.
Many people wonder what makes draft beer different from bottled or canned beer. In this article, we will explore the world of draft beer and provide a complete guide to understanding what it is, how it is made, and why it is so popular among beer lovers.
What is Draft Beer?
Draft beer is a term used to describe beer that is served straight from a keg or cask, rather than in a can or bottle. It is the kind of beer that comes out of the pumps at a bar or pub.
Definition of Draft Beer
Draft beer is a pressurized beer that goes through a carbonation method that isn’t served as bottled beer or canned beer. It is stored in a cask or keg, which is retrieved using a gas or vacuum mechanism.
All keg beer is draft beer, but not all draft beer is keg beer. Draft beer is often stored in large barrels or tanks at breweries before being transferred to smaller kegs for transport.
How Draft Beer is Made
The process of making draft beer involves several steps. First, the beer is brewed and fermented. After fermentation, the beer is transferred to a conditioning tank where it is carbonated and matured.
Once the beer has reached the desired level of carbonation and flavor, it is transferred to a keg or cask. The keg or cask is then pressurized with carbon dioxide or a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. This pressure forces the beer out of the keg or cask and through a tap, where it is dispensed into a glass.
One of the benefits of draft beer is that it is often served at a colder temperature than bottled or canned beer, which can enhance its flavor and aroma. Additionally, draft beer is typically fresher than bottled or canned beer because it is not exposed to light or air, which can cause the beer to spoil or become stale.
Overall, draft beer is a popular choice among beer drinkers because of its unique flavor, texture, and freshness.
Types of Draft Beer
There are several types of draft beer available, each with its unique flavor and brewing process. The most common types of draft beer include Ales, Lagers, Stouts, and Porters.
Ales are one of the oldest types of beer, and they are brewed using a warm fermentation process. This process allows the yeast to ferment at a higher temperature, which results in a fruity and robust flavor.
Ales are typically served at room temperature and have a higher alcohol content than other types of beer. Some popular types of ales include Pale Ales, India Pale Ales (IPAs), and Brown Ales.
Lagers are one of the most popular types of beer worldwide, and they are brewed using a cold fermentation process. This process allows the yeast to ferment at a lower temperature, resulting in a crisp and refreshing taste.
Lagers are typically served chilled and have a lower alcohol content than ales. Some popular types of lagers include Pilsners, Bocks, and Dunkels.
Stouts are a type of beer that is brewed using roasted malt or barley, which gives them a dark and rich color. They have a smooth and creamy texture and are typically served at a slightly warmer temperature than other types of beer. Some popular types of stouts include Dry Stouts, Milk Stouts, and Imperial Stouts.
Porters are a type of beer that is similar to stouts but has a less intense flavor. They are brewed using roasted malt or barley and have a dark color and a slightly sweet taste.
Porters are typically served at a slightly warmer temperature than other types of beer. Some popular types of porters include Brown Porters, Robust Porters, and Baltic Porters.
Benefits of Draft Beer
Draft beer has been a favorite among beer lovers for a long time. Here are some of the benefits of drinking draft beer:
One of the biggest advantages of draft beer is that it is usually much fresher than bottled or canned beer. Since draft beer isn’t pasteurized like bottled beers, it can go off more quickly and thus must be consumed within a shorter time frame. However, when stored and served properly, draft beer is often much fresher than bottled or canned beer.
Draft beer has a unique flavor profile that is often smoother and creamier than bottled or canned beer. It is also customizable depending on personal tastes. Many beer aficionados prefer draft beer because it has a fuller and richer flavor than bottled or canned beer.
Draft beer is often served at a colder temperature than bottled or canned beer. This is because draft beer is stored and served in a keg, which is kept at a colder temperature than a bottle or can. This means that draft beer is often more refreshing and thirst-quenching than bottled or canned beer.
Overall, draft beer has several benefits over bottled or canned beer. It is often fresher, has a fuller flavor, and is served at a colder temperature. These factors all contribute to making draft beer a favorite among beer lovers around the world.
Serving Draft Beer
When serving draft beer, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure that the beer is served at its best. These include glassware, temperature, and pouring techniques.
The type of glassware used to serve draft beer can have a significant impact on the drinking experience. Different styles of beer may require different types of glassware to fully appreciate their unique characteristics.
For example, a pint glass is a common choice for serving many types of beer, but a tulip glass may be more appropriate for a Belgian ale. Additionally, using a clean glass is essential to prevent any residual flavors or aromas from affecting the taste of the beer.
The temperature at which draft beer is served can also have a significant impact on its flavor and aroma. Generally, the ideal temperature range for serving draft beer is between 38°F and 45°F (3°C to 7°C).
However, the ideal temperature may vary depending on the specific style of beer being served. For example, a lager may be best served at a colder temperature, while a stout may be better served at a slightly warmer temperature to bring out its full flavor.
The way in which draft beer is poured can also affect its flavor and aroma. When pouring a draft beer, it is important to hold the glass at a slight angle and gradually straighten it as the beer is poured.
This helps to create a proper head on the beer and release the aromas. Additionally, it is important to avoid pouring too quickly or aggressively, as this can cause the beer to become too foamy and lose its carbonation.
Draft beer is a unique and delicious beverage that offers a smooth flavor, creamy head, and enhanced aroma that you can’t find in bottled beers. It is brewed in the same way as bottled beers but requires careful storage, maintenance of optimal temperature, and regular cleaning of draft lines.
One of the benefits of draft beer is that it is usually less expensive than bottled or canned beer due to the much lower packaging cost. Additionally, draft beer is fresh and has not been sitting in a warehouse or on a store shelf for months, making it a great choice for both casual and formal gatherings.
Draft beer can offer a fuller body and flavor profile due to its large-scale brewing process, as well as a more consistent taste thanks to the way it is stored in kegs or casks. Another benefit of draft beer is that it is often more carbonated than bottled or canned beer, which gives it a smoother, creamy texture.
Additionally, draft beer is lower in calories than bottled or canned beer, making it a healthier alternative for those who are watching their calorie intake.
Chef Michael Correll began his restaurant career near his home in his teens as a pizza cook, but soon moved to Philadelphia where he first landed at Jones, an acclaimed Stephen Starr restaurant on Chesntut Street. It was also in Philadelphia that Chef Correll pursued his culinary education, graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2008. After school he worked for Chef Marc Plessis at Nineteen in the Park Hyatt Hotel before moving to Pinehurst, North Carolina to open the Carolina Room.