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Apr 1, 2007 09:08 PM

Bottled/can beer that tastes the most like draft beer?

Please tell me there's something better than Miller Genuine Draft.

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  1. Hi magnum. Try Smithwicks or Boddingtons in the nitro can.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mojoeater

      Agreed. Boddingtons nitro can, when served at the proper temperature, is pretty close to the draft.

    2. The way this question is asked doesn't make any sense to me. The differences in flavor that can exist between bottle and draft versions of beer are fairly limited. One possible difference is if you're dealing with bottle-conditioned beers. In that case, the carbonation is provided by continued fermentation in the bottle as opposed to CO2. CO2 can alter the flavor of beer because it emphasizes hop bitterness.

      Another possible variation you might find is draft beer that's carbonated with NO2 instead of CO2.

      Finally, you have the questions of how clean the tap lines are, and how old the bottled beer is and whether it had been exposed to heat or sunlight.

      Given all that, if you have fresh bottled beer that has been stored under good conditions it should taste pretty much identical to the same beer served on draft with clean tap lines.

        1. A can is a mini keg. As Josh said, it's all about storage. And perception.

          1. Back in the simpler pre-craft beer era, when generalizations about US beer were much easier to make (and good beer was much harder to find), there was a major difference between draft beer and bottled/canned beer- draft was unpastuerized, kept refrigerated and, ideally, was consumed within a month of kegging and within days of tapping. Bottled and canned beers were heat-pasteurized, shipped and stored at room temp. and a longer shelf life.

            The main difference in taste was probably more to do with less carbonation in draft (because so many people drank from a can or bottle rather than pouring it into a glass and allowing the excess CO2 to be dispelled) than people who could “taste” the slightly “cooked” (or "dead") pastuerized beer. Jim Koch claims he can taste it and says he prefers it for his Samuel Adams. Ditto, folks who might have picked up the age of bottle or canned beers while it was still within it's "pull date" (skunkiness is another issue and one will find many Heineken drinkers who don't like it on tap, since it doesn't "taste the same"- no, 'cause it's not light struck!)..

            But, even in that era, there were “exceptions”- in the mid-West, many local breweries sold “Picnic bottles” of non-pastuerized beer in huge, long necked ½ gallon bottles and, eventually, some breweries started experimenting with micro-filtered, sterile-filled canned beers (a German technique developed during WWII, IIRC). In the 50’s, the Heffenreffer brewery in Mass. first tried it, as later did Coors, who’s best known for the process. On the East Coast a few years later, Piels marketed a micro-filtered beer as “Real Draft in a can” and it became popular enough that many breweries had “Draft style” cans of their flagship beers on the market (some even advertised “Pastuerized”, which made no sense at all, but US breweries never let logic get in the way of a marketing campaign)- Schaefer Draft Beer, Ballantine Draft Beer, Lucky Draft Brewed Beer, Ortlieb Genuine Draft Beer, Hamms Draft (in the keg shaped can), Lone Star Draft Beer, MeisterBrau Draft, etc. were all on the shelves in the 60’s and, a few, beyond that. Philip Morris’ Miller tried the technique again a decade of so later, and stuck with it as MGD (which is also available on tap- huh?).

            Today, with bottle conditioned beers and “flash pasteurized” kegs, the differences aren’t always as cut and dry and blanket statements can’t be made (tho’ people continue to find draft versions and bottled versions of the same beer as tasting “different/better/worse”- for all the reasons stated in the posts above).

            Sadly, I find a lot of draft beer lacking these days- with so many taps at even mainstream bars, I don’t think many beers turn over fast enough for great tasting draft from all 10-20 taps. OTOH, if you’re drinking directly out of an ice cold bottle or can, chances are a good draft beer at the correct temperature with a good head, is going to taste better to you.

            10 Replies
            1. re: JessKidden

              Jess...would you please publish a book about the history of beer already? You're a genius.

              Just compile it all and self-publish it using a cafepress site or something. I love reading everything you write as no one seems to have as wide ranging and unsnobbish knowledge about beer.

              Thanks, friend.

              1. re: JessKidden

                I might add that MGD is one beer I find positively disgusting and cannot drink it.

                1. re: therealbigtasty

                  Being a beer drinker for many moons, all the major advertised brands of beer are light and really are "neutral" in their flavors........a brand like "Morretti" from Italy
                  or a Shiner Blonde from Texas and widely available offer cleaner and crisper tastes
                  across the palate than any brand advertised......We did a tasting in our "group"
                  of 10 famous brands with the 2 above and in a blind vote,Moretti was #1 and Shiner
                  #2 with MGD, Coors and Bud in the basement.......

                  1. re: jonathon

                    Wait a sec...did I read that right?

                    The "group" favored beers that are "cleaner" and "crisper" than beers that are "light" and "neutral in flavor"?

                    I guess I won't be sending in my membership fee...<g>

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      Isn't "cleaner" and "crisper" more desirable than "light" and "no flavor".........
                      If you want your beer to taste like nothing then continue to support the
                      advertised "bellywash" brands...........Please try a "Moretti" or "Shiner"
                      and see what you think...............

                      1. re: jonathon

                        To *me*, "cleaner" and "crisper" implies "EVEN lighter" and "MORE neutral (if there is such a thing)".

                        A beer cleaner than light, crisper than neutral? No, thanks.

                        It all sounds like the sorts of words used to describe all those bland "light lagers" (none of which I've "supported" for the last 30+ years), be it BMC OR Moretti or Shiner.

                        1. re: JessKidden

                          "Cleaner" is intended to mean none of those "metallic" flavors that comes
                          with the Big Brands.........."Crisper" meaning a refreshing "snap' that one
                          is expecting from beer of this style............

                2. re: JessKidden

                  To that point of bars with a whole lotta taps (this may be a little off topic) what's the deal at many of these places where:
                  1) Many of the beers taste like a blend of other beers (due to dirty lines)
                  2) The typical clientele appear to be Bud drinkers
                  It must be expensive to provide so many craft beers. And if your base customer doesn’t appear to drink them and they’re many times ruined by dirty lines for those who like them what’s the point?
                  Most of these places I’ve noticed are at airports or are in college towns. It’s always very disappointing. I ordered a Sierra Nevada at a spot called Floods in Stroudsburg, PA this past Monday. It tasted like cider. After the second sip I paid and left.

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Monday at that still "kill-a-keg-" night, where draft imports are $1 until the keg is done??? (I'm an ESU alum)

                    1. re: LMT

                      Apparently not. I paid $3.75 for a pint of Woodchuck cider flavored Sierra Nevada pale ale. Everybody else was smoking (and I mean everybody) and drinking basic domestic (i.e. Bud, Pabst, etc).