Is Beer Better in Tap, Can, or Bottle?


Jan 21, 2021

Beer is such a staple in Australian culture. There is a variety of flavours, strengths, crafting methods, and more. People drink on weekend barbecues and sports events and yet again, people drink to celebrate or even shortly after surfing on the beach. Drinking beer is so commonplace that the only question is what the best way is to have it.

All beers are good, but are some better than the others?

Better with Bottle?

Commercial bottling already started in the 17th century. But brewers began bottling beer back in the late 1500s. They used glass because they found that it kept the liquid fresh for longer periods. Yet when left in the sun, clear glass turned the beer sour. Ultraviolet rays that get through clear bottles damage the chemical process in brewing beer. So they discovered brown beer bottles to do the trick. When they ran out of brown bottles, they substituted green ones. Thanks to modern technology, clear glass bottles now have UV-protected coating. This coating keeps the beer fresh.

Research says the popularity of beer on bottles is only perceived quality. People associate this method to the careful and high-grade production of wine.

Bottles may take longer to cool down. But they keep the beer cold for longer too, if cold is how you want it. There are even lagers with labels that change colour when the beer is chilled well enough. It hints the perfect time to drink on. How “cool” is that?

Can or Cannot?

The first canned beer was sold in 1935. It was then designed with a cone top. Brewers only had bottling machines back then. Hence, this design allowed brewers to transition to cans from bottles. Beverage cans’ design is interesting on its own. But what does it do for beer?

Historically, a can equates to mass-market. And that it suggests convenience over quality is inaccurate. In reality, can blocks out all UV rays, meaning it doesn’t compromise the beer’s flavours. The cans were also lighter and less likely to break.

Moreover, a polymer coating separates the beer from the aluminium. So any imparted metallic flavours are likely to come from the aromatics. It poses little to no risk to consumers.

Tap Tops the List?

Tap beer is also known as draft or draught beer. It was the method used at first to serve beer. It comes from the keg directly to the drinker’s glass through a valve, hence the name.

Draft beer storage is less prone to oxidation. Oxidation is exposure to air, and it affects the alcohol’s flavour negatively. Steel or aluminium kegs have pressurised tops. Its ability to keep the beer’s temperature consistent is good for the beer. Also, no light exposure means the beer won’t develop any funny taste.

While freshness varies according to style and hops, tap guarantees it. It is because when you’re replacing kegs often, you have a fresher batch each time.

Modern beer kegs are better in many ways. They are designed to deliver measured beer with a proper foam. Newer tapping methods decrease possible spillage too.

All of the Above?

Sensory experience affects our choice of beer container. Think of the sound of opening beverage packaging, pouring, and aroma. But whether you enjoy a clink or a fizz, we all know beer is best with friends and family.

Thankfully, brewers in Australia have quality brew available in all possible types. So have fun and drink in moderation.