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Craft beer bottle vs tap

your favourite tipple - wine, beer, spirits
Julian
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Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184152

Postby Julian » December 1st, 2018, 1:34 pm

Whenever I go into a pub I always prefer to have something from a tap rather than a bottle and am disappointed if I can't see anything on the taps that I fancy. There's obviously the novelty factor many times with something unusual on tap whereas if I simply buy a bottle in a pub it might well be a bottle of something that I could just as easily have picked up from a local supermarket with a good beer selection or from a specialist craft beer shop, and there is usually the quantity/price issue (i.e. I want a pint) but, in terms only of quality/experience as far as taste is concerned, is there any real difference between tap and bottle (or can) and if so can anyone characterise the advantages/disadvantages of tap for me?

I suppose to make it fairly specific, if a pub had "CraftBeerX" both in 500ml bottles and on a tap that it only dispensed in 500ml glasses, both at identical prices, then are there any reasons that I would go with tap rather than bottle? (Also ignoring any environmental/recycling debates please.)

- Julian

tjh290633
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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184157

Postby tjh290633 » December 1st, 2018, 2:26 pm

It would be unusual for the prices to be the same, because of the extra cost of bottling. If the bar has a slow turnover, there is a chance that the draught beer could go off in the barrel, in which case the bottle might be the safer bet. There is bound to be a subtle difference in taste between the two. The bottled beer is likely to have more dissolved gas, but the draft beer may be driven out of the barrel by gas pressure, which could affect the taste, compared with a pint drawn under gravity.

Personally I would rather have a decent bottle than a dodgy pint from draught.

TJH

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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184162

Postby kempiejon » December 1st, 2018, 2:44 pm

As tjh says bottled is likely to be more bubbly. Cask kept beer does spoil in a few days whereas bottles will last for months.
I did a taste test at home to compare the same beer in bottle as in cans. They do have subtle differences in taste but bottled compared to cask is a more marked difference and I'd prefer the warm soapy hand pulled pint of a well kept cask.

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184171

Postby AleisterCrowley » December 1st, 2018, 3:40 pm

It could be partly the temperature. I keep my cans and bottles in the fridge (3C) and probably don't give them enough time to get up to optimum drinking temperature. Not sure what optimum IS, but I'd guess IPAs etc should be colder than traditional bitters and stouts, and certainly not room temperature

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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184189

Postby Lootman » December 1st, 2018, 5:14 pm

Julian wrote:if I simply buy a bottle in a pub it might well be a bottle of something that I could just as easily have picked up from a local supermarket with a good beer selection or from a specialist craft beer shop

That's it for me. Draught/cask beer is not something I can easily reproduce at home, whereas a bottle of beer tastes the same anywhere.

I feel the same way about wine. It's the same whether I pay 30 quid for it in a restaurant or 10 quid in Waitrose.

So when out in a pub I'd never usually buy bottled beer, nor wine. But rather either draught/cask beer or cocktails.

The markup on bottled booze is probably between 2 and 3 times.

tjh290633
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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184201

Postby tjh290633 » December 1st, 2018, 6:00 pm

kempiejon wrote:As tjh says bottled is likely to be more bubbly. Cask kept beer does spoil in a few days whereas bottles will last for months.
I did a taste test at home to compare the same beer in bottle as in cans. They do have subtle differences in taste but bottled compared to cask is a more marked difference and I'd prefer the warm soapy hand pulled pint of a well kept cask.

Back in about 1960, my immediate boss persuaded our Director of Research that we should do a blind testing to compare beer in glass bottles with beer in cans. We chose a beer available in both, which might have been Double Diamond but it could have been Bass. The participants were given 12 sherry glasses containing bottled beer in 6 and canned beer in 6. They were asked to mark each glass as to its origin.

Only two of us were able to differentiate between them significantly. My boss got them all right, I got them all wrong, but could tell the difference. Nobody else got statistically significant results. We were the two most assiduous beer drinkers in the lab, of course. It was all prompted by an advertisement for the canned version by the brewer concerned.

TJH

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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184296

Postby todthedog » December 2nd, 2018, 10:34 am

Enjoy a pulled pint,especially a 'boys bitter' not too strong, designer craft beer is generally a bit strong for my taste, and I feel a bit strange paying twice as much for a beer I can buy in the supermarket.
Only tend to drink beer in a pub personal taste as ever :D :D

Julian
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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184441

Postby Julian » December 3rd, 2018, 10:28 am

Thanks all.

Just to be clear on the price thing. I was trying to set a hypothetical "all other things being equal" scenario to focus on the specific variable (taste/drinking experience) that I wanted to explore. I don't suggest for a minute that the prices would actually be the same but in my hypothetical test universe created specifically for this question they are.

Also another clarification. I now realise that mentioning craft beer doesn't automatically imply no hand pumps because some craft beer brewers (e.g. Punk) do have stuff on hand pump as well as pressurised taps but I was meaning to ask specifically about craft beers on pressurised taps (e.g. Beavertown, most Punk, etc, etc).

I do drink hand-pulled real ales as well, most of the time in fact, but there I do only ever drink them from hand pump and, at least for my locals, I know who keeps their beers well and who doesn't.

- Julian

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Re: Craft beer bottle vs tap

#184471

Postby Skotch » December 3rd, 2018, 12:09 pm

Just a thought on this subject. Some time ago I read that there's a difference between the same beer being served in bottles -vs- cans. Apparently beer that is canned has to be sterilized - ie all yeast etc killed off and then carbonated. Bottled bee can also have this done but it can also be 'bottle conditioned' ie filled with beer from the fermenter and have sugar added to create a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Apparently this means that you can beer that is essentially the same product but because of the canning or bottling process, can taste completely different.

Personally I would always go for the hand pulled draught version if there was a choice as I know it would be cask conditioned which wont always be the case with the bottled version


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