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Old 07-23-2009, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default What is the reason that commercial beer is so much better on tap?

I recently tried Magic Hat #9 due to some recommendations on this forum. I found it at my local liquor store and bought a 6 pack. It was good, but not great. Last night I was at a local bar that had it on tap, it was GREAT!!!! I also notice this every year with SA Oktoberfest(my personal favorite beer(on tap at least)). I buy a 12 pack and it is just OK. But when I go to the bar to get it it is GREAT! I have also noticed this with a lot of other beers too.

My guess would be freshness. The kegs are moved through the system faster there for taste better on tap. While bottles sit in wearhouses longer and have a longer trip to the store/bar.

Anyone know why?

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:06 AM   #2
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Most draft beer in the U.S. is not pasteurized...I'd say that's the biggest difference.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:54 AM   #3
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I just drank the first bottle of my batch of Amarillo IPA (the keg was gone a week ago), and I noticed the same thing about it. It was way, way better from the keg. It's still good in the bottle, but the hops aroma is not nearly as pronounced. (I'm drinking it from the same glasses as from the keg.)

I wouldn't have expected that from the one week time difference alone. Only other thing I could attribute it to was I think the bottles are carbed a little bit more than the keg was.

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Old 07-23-2009, 02:20 AM   #4
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I think some breweries vary the recipe slightly depending on whether the batch will go into bottles or kegs.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptYesterday View Post
I think some breweries vary the recipe slightly depending on whether the batch will go into bottles or kegs.
I believe I heard Ken Grossman, of Sierra Nevada, mention something like this the other day.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:32 AM   #6
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I always use to swear there was quite a noticeably difference with Fat Tire. I mean like 2 different beers different, I never notice it that much with other beers.

Anyone else experience this with Fat Tire?

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:40 AM   #7
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One is pasteurization. I don't know that it makes a huge difference, but maybe a little. The other factors are travel, age, and storage. They all make a big difference in how a beer tastes. This is why I believe all beer should be dated and beer should be refrigerated.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:41 AM   #8
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I don't believe that brewers largely vary their beer for the package. I can't understand why they would do that from a brewing or business sense, but I don't have any proof. It would be interesting to investigate.

I think most of the reason for a difference is that they are treated differently. Kegs are usually always cold, and they are generally served closer to their brew date. That won't make them better, but it will make them different.

A brewer has little control over what happens to a bottle once it leaves the store. It's exposed to heat (small temp swings affect bottles more than kegs), and light.

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Originally Posted by BlindLemonLars View Post
Most draft beer in the U.S. is not pasteurized...I'd say that's the biggest difference.
This is partly true, but not for most craft beer. Many brewers don't pasteurize their bottles, and rarely (though I'm open to opposing examples) would a brewer pasteurize 'some' of his beer but not all.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:46 AM   #9
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I, too, heard that Sierra Nevada's draft version (at their own brewpub) and bottled versions of their beers are different.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter View Post
I believe I heard Ken Grossman, of Sierra Nevada, mention something like this the other day.
Thats one beer I have noticed a difference in between bottled and on tap.
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