Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What is the reason that commercial beer is so much better on tap?
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:15 PM   #11
CaptYesterday
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Turbodog would be an example of a beer that tastes completely different when served in bottle as opposed to on tap.

On tap it tastes delicious, with all of the flavors coming together nicely. From the bottle it tastes like syrup. Unless I've been getting bottles of severely underattenuated Turbodog, the only explanation I can think of is changes to the grain bill.


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Old 07-23-2009, 01:28 PM   #12
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I know this probably seems obvious, but I'll say it anyway since I haven't seen it mentioned. When you drink from a bottle do you pour into a glass or go straight from the bottle? That makes a huge difference. So does the temperature it's served at.


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Old 07-23-2009, 01:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptYesterday View Post
Turbodog would be an example of a beer that tastes completely different when served in bottle as opposed to on tap.
This is a great example. Turbodog on tap is great, fresh at the brewery it is fantastic, but in the bottle it is not as good. I know for a fact that Abita pasteurizes the beer that goes into bottles and does not pasteurize the beer that goes into kegs.

Other than the pasteurize/not pasteurized reason, I think there are a couple other reasons draft tends to be better:
-The beer in the kegs has never seen light (even though brown bottles help this cause a lot).
-It is easier to handle kegs correctly. In my experience (at package stores, etc.) kegs are almost always stored cold, not on shelf under lights at room temperature.
-Kegs are a bigger investment for stores/distributors, they do not order pallets and let them sit around for months (or years) like bottles.
-It is also very possible that breweries have ways of purging kegs of oxygen better than bottles and depending on the headspace in the keg, there is a lot less room for oxygen exposure. Oh, and caps don't always keep all oxygen out.

I think recipe differences between draft and bottle are very much the exception, not the rule. You need to have a much larger capacity and demand (like SN) to be able to do this, it is essentially like having to brew 2 different beers.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:39 PM   #14
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I was told a while ago that SNPA from a keg is brewed to be more of a session beer than the bottled counterpart. A bartender told me that one time, but who knows if it's true.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptYesterday View Post
Turbodog would be an example of a beer that tastes completely different when served in bottle as opposed to on tap.

On tap it tastes delicious, with all of the flavors coming together nicely. From the bottle it tastes like syrup. Unless I've been getting bottles of severely underattenuated Turbodog, the only explanation I can think of is changes to the grain bill.
I would bet my left nut that this is due to shipping and handling. I get DFH 90 in Vancouver that taste syrupy. I blamed it on age because it simply has to be better than that (otherwise why would all you guys want to clone it!!)
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #16
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I really think it's handling. I don't know about SN, but none of the brewers I've talked to brew different beers for kegs vs bottling.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific View Post
I think recipe differences between draft and bottle are very much the exception, not the rule. You need to have a much larger capacity and demand (like SN) to be able to do this, it is essentially like having to brew 2 different beers.
I would think that is probably the case. I believe I heard Grossman talking about this on either the Brewing Network or Basic Brewing Radio's coverage of the National Homebrew Conference. I think he mentioned that the ABV was different and that the tap version is closer to the original recipe that they developed.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:15 PM   #18
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I think ambiance and effect are a bit part of it as well. Your perceived reality has a huge effect on your tastes.

Kegs do have several things going for them though. Bulk storage is more stable, less affected by temperature swings, and is completely concealed from O2 and light.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
I think ambiance and effect are a bit part of it as well. Your perceived reality has a huge effect on your tastes.
This is a very good point.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBasile View Post
Thats one beer I have noticed a difference in between bottled and on tap.
SNPA kegs say "draft style" or something along those lines right on them, pretty much stating that it's a little different. I'm pretty well versed in buying SNPA kegs.


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