In this article, we’ll discuss and answer the question, is draft beer stronger than bottled beer.
If you’re anything like us, you have a few beers that are your favorites, and your fridge is rarely without them. And, if you have the opportunity to drink your favorites on draft, you probably jump at the chance.
Have you ever noticed that when you drink your favorite beer, on draft instead of from the bottle or can that it seems to be stronger? This is something that we have noticed from time to time, and it often leads us to wonder if the beer we’re drinking on draft has a higher alcohol content than the same beer in a bottle or can.
Now, if you’ve had the same thought, you’re probably relieved to know that there are other people out there that have had the same experience.
Draft beer is not stronger than a bottle, even though it may seem otherwise.
They may sometimes seem stronger or have a more rapid effect on your body than canned or bottled beer, but there is no difference in alcohol content between a beer in the bottle and the same beer on draft.
When a brewery makes a batch of a particular beer, they will bottle some and put some in kegs. Sometimes they will bottle a whole batch of a beer and then make a second for kegging. But, the recipe doesn’t change.
So, while there may be a small difference in the amount of alcohol between kegged and bottled beer it’s never enough to make a marked difference in how it makes you feel.
Carbonation is the most distinct difference between draft beers and bottled beers.
Carbonation plays a big part in how you consume beer. Draft beers tend to lose some carbonation as they pass through lines from the keg to the tap. This small loss in carbonation can make a beer seem smoother and easier to drink. It doesn’t change the alcohol volume, but when a beverage is easy to drink, you may find yourself drinking it faster and having more than you might if the beer was in a bottle.
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, but Just Right
We’ll take our cue on this next thought from Goldilocks. She had the right idea; she ate the porridge that was just the right temperature and left the others. The same can be said about the temperature of your beer and how much you want to drink.
If you’re grabbing a bottle of beer from your fridge, it’s probably going to be pretty cold, and we tend to drink things that are cold a bit slower. Maybe it’s because we get brain freeze or perhaps it’s nicer to take your time with a cold beer.
Draft beers aren’t usually stored at the same cold temperature that you’ll have in your home fridge. That slight difference in temperature makes all the difference in how fast you want to consume your beer. Beer that isn’t so cold that it makes your teeth hurt or your brain cringe is much easier to drink and easier to drink in greater quantities.
If you question this idea, take a look at the quantity of beer served at Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany. Traditional German beers are served at around 55-degrees Fahrenheit, which seems cold, but is actually just about right. This perfect temperature and a beer that isn’t heavily carbonated means it’s easy to drink. And boy do they serve a lot of beer in Germany.
Ready to Experiment?
Now, we’re not saying that you should go out and drink a bunch of beer tonight, but if you want to try to level the playing field between draft and bottled beer, here’s how you get a smoother, easier to drink condition from your favorite bottled beer.
First, pour your beer from the bottle into a glass. This step will release some carbonation from the beer and make your beer just a little smoother. The ideal way to do this is to allow the beer to foam. A good head of foam on your bottled beer in a glass will result in a smoother beer underneath. If you want to up your game, try using a glass specific for the style of beer you’re enjoying.
Second, warm your beer a bit before drinking. Now, you don’t have to let it sit out for a long time or throw it in the microwave, we don’t need it that warm. All you need to do is hold the glass in both hands for just a few minutes. This will be enough to slightly warm your beer to a temperature that is easier to drink. Oh, and skip the frosty glasses, that just adds to the cold that makes beer not as smooth to drink.
Draft beer isn’t stronger, it’s easier to drink than beer from a bottle. If you enjoy drinking draft beer and want the same experience at home with your favorite beer, you don’t have to buy a keg and kegerator, just pour out that bottle into a glass and enjoy.