Nothing soothes the soul like a chilled fizzy mug of beer after a long tiring day at work. The bubbly, frothy, and refreshing flavor is enough to make you forget everyday worries and stress. But if you have just started off your journey as a drinker, you might often find yourself confused between the term craft and draft beer. Are these two any different? Or are they just two names for the same drink? To help you shake off the confusion, let’s take a closer look at both drinks and figure out the differences between the two.
Craft Beer vs. Draft Beer: A Quick Comparison
Beer lovers around the world are well-familiar with the differences between craft beer and draft beer. The former is produced in small quantities using high-quality ingredients. Craft beer is usually brewed by small-scale breweries and is a popular drink among beer enthusiasts.
Draft Beers, on the other hand, are made in a similar way to a can or bottled drink but are stored in special kegs and casks to maintain the fizziness. Most people make use of kegs to store and dispense the draft beer as it helps in keeping the oxygen at bay and the beer stays fresh and bubbly for long hours.
Another striking difference between a draft beer and a craft beer is its taste and appearance. Craft beers generally have a darker appearance, stronger taste, and high alcohol content.
Draft beers in contrast are lighter in color, have a mild flavor, and have less alcohol content.
Major differences Between Craft Beer and Draft Beer
Now that you know craft beer and draft beer are significantly different from each other, here is a closer look at the major differences to help you understand better.
Draft beer or otherwise known as draught beer is stored and preserved in a pressurized keg, cask, or barrel. It is manufactured the same way as canned beer and is produced in mass quantities. Draft beer is usually served through a faucet or a sprout and is a popular choice among beer lovers.
The term draft is derived from the English verb “Dragan,” which means to drag or pull. Draught beer and draft beer are the same. People in USA and Canada use the term draft while those in Europe and Australia use the word Draught.
Craft beer, as mentioned earlier, is manufactured in small independent breweries and is often called an artisanal or customized beer. Craft beers are produced in small quantities and are packed with strong flavor and thick texture.
A Look back on History
In the early 20th century, people used to serve draft beer using pressurized casks as there was no concept of pressurized kegs at that time.
During the early 1970’s pressurized containers got popular, and draft beer was served using kegs and barrels instead of the typical casks.
Also, a noteworthy fact is that during the mid-1990, the sales of beer declined drastically as brands were no longer producing flavorful beer and were instead focused on mass production only.
Small-scale brewing companies soon got popular at that time as these breweries used premium quality ingredients to bring forth great and distinct tastes. The small-scale production allowed the breweries to experiment with different ingredients, and as a result, craft beer soon made its way into the mainstream market.
The Brewing Process
Craft beer is generally more popular among beer lovers as it’s free from additives, chemicals, and preservatives. The beer is usually not filtered and is left unpasteurized to maintain its rich flavor, unique blend, and creamy texture.
Draft beers, on the other hand, may taste better than canned beer but, of course, are not better than craft beer, especially when it comes to flavor and aroma. Draft beer is also left unpasteurized most of the time but is often filtered.
Draft beer is brewed the same way as bottled beer, but it is stored in pressurized kegs where a faucet is used for pulling out the beer when serving.
When discussing Craft beer vs. Draft Beer in terms of taste and flavor, craft beer, hands down, takes the cake. While draft beer may have a refreshing taste and smoother texture, it cannot possibly beat craft beer when it comes to rich flavor and frothiness.
Craft beers are packed with strong flavors and distinct aroma that makes them an immensely popular choice among beer lovers.
Craft beer contains almost 5 to 10% of ABV, while draft beer only contains 3 to 4% of ABV, which explains well why artisanal beer tastes better than a fresh mug of beer.
The ingredients used in the brewing process account for the color and appearance of the beer. You may notice that canned and draft beer is often usually light in color whereas craft beer has a darker appearance.
Draft beer or regular beer has a pale and yellowish color, while craft beer varies in color depending on the ingredients used in the brewing process.
Also, another good explanation for the lighter color of draft beer is that when it’s stored in pressurized kegs, oxidation changes the color and appearance of the drink.
Draft beers are stored in kegs and casks, which helps keep them fresh for a longer period. Craft beers are usually stored in cans and bottles but can also be preserved in casks but the way it’s served can be different from the draft beer. Unlike in older times, craft beer can now be drafted for ease of storage and serving.
Another major difference between draft beer and craft beer is the amount in which both drinks are produced. As discussed earlier in the article, draft beer is produced in mass quantities in huge factories, whereas craft beers are produced in small amounts by small private breweries. Craft brewing companies, on average, produce around 6 million barrels per annum and produce specialized drinks using a unique brewing process.
In the light of factors discussed above, we can now state with evidence that craft beer and draft beer differ significantly in terms of appearance, flavor, appearance, production, and storage. We hope the information shared in the article will help you make a better choice the next time you head out to the market to purchase beer for an upcoming party.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.