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Craft Beer vs. Draft beer: do they really differ?

So, you know those heated debates among beer lovers about craft beer versus draft beer? It's like choosing between a quirky apple and a no-nonsense orange, right? Wrong! Here's the twist – the whole craft vs. draft beer thing? It's not really a clash of beer styles; more like a mix-up of terms.




Craft beer and draft beer are not mutually exclusive terms; they refer to different aspects of beer.


Understanding Craft Beer vs. Draft Beer

 

Craft Beer


Definition: Craft beer refers to beer produced by small, independent breweries that prioritise quality, flavour, and traditional brewing methods.


Characteristics: Craft beers are often associated with innovation, unique flavours, and a connection to the local community. Craft breweries can produce various styles, from traditional ales and lagers to experimental and artisanal brews.



Draft Beer


Definition: Draft beer, on the other hand, refers to beer that is served from a keg or cask, typically on tap at a bar, restaurant, or brewery.


Characteristics: Draft beer is commonly associated with freshness and a different serving experience compared to bottled or canned beer. It is poured into a glass from a tap system, often with the option of different types of beers being available.





The Rich History of Craft Beer and Draft Beer

 

Craft Beer: A Movement of Artisanal Brewing


Origins and Evolution:


The craft beer movement has its roots in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States, as a response to the mass-produced beers that dominated the market. Beer enthusiasts and home-brewers started to explore traditional brewing methods and diverse styles, leading to the opening of small, independent breweries.


The term "craft beer" was coined to capture the essence of these beers: crafted in small batches with a focus on flavour, quality, and traditional brewing techniques. The movement prioritised using high-quality ingredients and often revived old styles and recipes that were no longer mainstream.


Growth and Influence:


The 1980s and 1990s saw a significant growth in the number of craft breweries, especially in the United States. This period marked the beginning of a global craft beer revolution, with many countries developing their own vibrant craft beer scenes.


Craft breweries have played a crucial role in educating consumers about beer styles, brewing history, and the nuances of beer tasting, contributing to a broader appreciation of beer as a complex and diverse beverage.


Packaging: Can Craft Beer be bottled or canned?


The distinction of craft beer comes from the scale of production, the brewing techniques, and the philosophy behind the beer, rather than the method of packaging. Both bottling and canning are popular among craft breweries for several reasons:


Bottling

Tradition:

Bottling has a long tradition in the beer industry, and many craft brewers continue this tradition. Glass bottles can offer a classic look that appeals to consumers who appreciate the heritage and artistry of beer.

Variety:

Quality Perception:



Canning

Innovation and Growth:

In recent years, canning has seen significant growth in the craft beer sector. Modern canning technology has improved, making it a viable and often preferred option for many craft breweries.

Portability and Convenience:

Protection from Light and Oxygen:

Sustainability:


Regardless of the packaging, the essence of craft beer remains focused on quality, flavour, and the creative expression of the brewing art.



What makes a beer "craft"?


The definition of "craft beer" can vary slightly depending on the country and context, but it generally revolves around several core principles related to the size of the brewery, its independence, and its approach to brewing. The Brewers Association in the United States provides a widely recognised definition that highlights three critical characteristics of craft breweries:

  • Small

  • Independent

  • Traditional


In addition to these technical criteria, the craft beer movement is characterised by a few broader themes:

  • Community and Local Orientation

  • Passion and Artistry

  • Education and Engagement


 

Draft Beer: A Timeless Tradition of Serving


Historical Background:


The history of serving beer from casks (later kegs) directly at bars and taverns dates back centuries. The term "draft" (or "draught" in British English) beer comes from the act of "drawing" beer from a cask or keg through a tap into a glass or mug for immediate consumption.


This method of serving beer has been preferred in many cultures because it allows for beer to be served fresh and at an optimal temperature, which can enhance the flavours and overall drinking experience.


Modern Draft Systems:


The development of modern kegging and tap systems, including the use of carbon dioxide or nitrogen gas for pressurisation, has made draft beer more widely available and consistent in quality. These systems ensure that beer remains fresh and carbonated from the first pour to the last.


Today, draft beer is not limited to any specific type or style of beer. Both mass-produced lagers and craft beers can be served on draft, offering consumers a wide range of options.



So, Craft vs. Draft Beer: What's the Real Difference?


Craft Beer emphasizes artisanal brewing techniques, quality ingredients, and often, traditional or innovative beer styles. It's a movement that values independence, creativity, and community engagement.


Draft Beer focuses on the serving method, offering a way to enjoy beer that is fresh, often well-preserved, and ready to drink. It spans the entire beer spectrum, from the largest brewery giants to the smallest craft producers.


In summary, "craft" describes the characteristics of the brewery, emphasising factors like size, independence, and brewing philosophy, while "draft" refers to the method of serving beer. It's entirely possible for a craft beer to be available in draft form, and many craft breweries take advantage of this serving method to showcase their beers in a fresh and controlled manner. Conversely, not all draft beers are craft; they can come from breweries of various sizes and ownership structures.



Where to find the best Craft Beer on Draft?

 


IN BAD COMPANY

Address: 66 East Coast Road, The Flow Mall # 05-17, Singapore 428778




TAPOUT CRAFT BEERS

Address: 103 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428797

Menu: HERE




FREEBIRD

Address: 865 Mountbatten Rd, B1-09, Singapore 437844

Menu: HERE




SIXTEEN OUNCES BAR & KITCHEN

Address: 398 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, The Rail Mall, Singapore 678049

Menu: HERE



ORH GAO TAPROOM

Address: 10 Jln Serene, # 01-03 Serene Centre, Singapore 258748

Menu: HERE




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