What Is the Difference Between Draft and Bottled Beer?

Draft, or draught, beer is served on tap straight from the barrel or cask, while bottled beer is individually packaged at a brewery using CO2 to maintain its fizz. Experts disagree on whether draft beer or bottled beer is better.

Beer served from a tap is often house-made, locally made or otherwise fresher than bottled beer. On the other hand, tap lines used in serving draft beer can harbor bacteria, while breweries that bottle beer follow regular sanitation procedures. Finally, draft beer is easy to assess immediately in terms of color and aroma, while bottled beer is often served in tinted glass that makes it hard to spot a skunky or off-color, beer before consumption.