The primary difference in draft beer and bottle beer is, bottle beer is pasteurized and draft is fresh. The difference is similar to canned fruit and fresh fruit. If you pasteurize the beer it provides a stable shelf life, but you give up some flavor. With draft you have great taste, but it requires considerably more care and management. Draft beer often does not get proper care and under those circumstances draft would be an inferior product.
There are four essential details for serving high quality draft beer on a consistent basis. If these details are correct, draft beer is significantly better tasting than bottled beer. If any of the details are deficient, draft beer loses its unique quality.
- Fresh dates have to be managed. Beer distributors have a vested interest in keeping the beer fresh. In addition to our management, the distributors monitor “fresh dates”.
- The beer lines must be cleaned on a regular basis and not be exposed to other smells. The distributors clean the beer lines on a regular basis. It is very important to have separate storage from other products. The smell from veggies and chemicals penetrate the beer lines and cause off tastes in the beer.
- The temperature must be maintained in a very narrow range. We have a large capacity exclusive walk-in cooler for our keg system. We only enter the cooler for deliveries and maintenance. The beer lines, carrying the draft to the bar for service, are surrounded by chilled, food grade glycol circulating through separate lines wrapped around the draft lines. The glycol also travels into the draft head dispenser, evidenced by the ice coating. Our system delivers perfect draft every glass and the iced heads provide a refreshing look
- Last but very important, the glassware must be chemical free. This is accomplished either from high temp sanitizing or dipped in a neutralizing solution (true for bottled beer as well if poured in a glass). We wash our glasses in a unique high temp dishwasher and we believe this is the most dependable way to provide a perfect glass