Draught vs Draft

Draught and draft are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the context of drinks.


While they may sound similar, they have different meanings and are used in different contexts. Understanding the difference between draught and draft is important for anyone who enjoys a good drink.

Draught is a British English variant of the word draft, which is more commonly used in American English. In general, draught refers to beer that is served from a keg or cask, while draft refers to beer that is served from a tap or a can. However, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, and the distinction between them can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the terminology.

The history and origin of draught and draft are closely tied to the brewing process, which has evolved over the centuries to produce a wide variety of beer types and varieties. Whether you prefer a light lager or a dark stout, understanding the difference between draught and draft can help you make informed decisions about what to order at the bar.

Understanding Draught and Draft

Draught and draft are two spellings of the same word, with draught being the British English spelling and draft being the American English spelling. Despite their spelling differences, they both refer to the same thing: beer that is served from a keg or cask rather than from a bottle or can.


The term “draught” is frequently used in British English, while “draft” is more commonly used in American English. However, in American English, “draught” is rarely used as a spelling variant of “draft,” except for one main setting: in reference to beer or the container from which it is poured.

The pronunciation of “draught” and “draft” is the same, with both words being pronounced as “draft.” In British English, “draft” is used for plans and sketches, while “draught” is used for beer and pulling, such as a “draught horse.”

In the context of beer, both spellings are used interchangeably, although “draught” is the preferred spelling in British English. In American English, “draft” is the preferred spelling, but “draught” is still used in reference to beer or the container from which it is poured.

History and Origin

The terms “draught” and “draft” both have their roots in Old English, with “draught” being the original spelling.


The word “draught” comes from the Old English word “dragan,” which means “to carry or pull.” This word was used to describe beer that was served directly from a cask or barrel, which required someone to “drag” or “pull” the beer out of the container and into a glass.

Over time, the spelling of “draught” evolved to “draft,” and both spellings are now commonly used to describe beer that is served from a keg or tap. In the United States, “draft” is the more common spelling, while in the United Kingdom and other countries, “draught” is still used.

The history of draft beer dates back centuries, with evidence of beer being served from casks or barrels as far back as the 1600s. In the early 20th century, draught beer started to be served from pressurized containers, which allowed for greater consistency and control over the serving temperature and carbonation levels.

Today, draught or draft beer is a popular choice for many beer drinkers, as it is often fresher and more flavorful than bottled or canned beer. Many bars and restaurants offer a wide selection of draught beers from around the world, including both domestic and imported brews.

Brewing Process

The brewing process for both draught and draft beer is similar. It involves four main steps: malting, mashing, boiling, and fermentation.


After boiling, the wort is cooled, and yeast is added to start the fermentation process. During fermentation, the yeast consumes the sugars in the wort, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Traditional brewing methods involve the use of real ale, which is brewed without the use of added carbon dioxide. The secondary fermentation process takes place in the cask, allowing the beer to mature and develop its unique flavor. Real ale is also unfiltered and unpasteurized, allowing the natural flavors and aromas to remain intact.

In contrast, modern brewing methods involve the use of filtering and pasteurization to create a more consistent product. Filtering removes any remaining yeast and sediment, resulting in a clearer beer. Pasteurization involves heating the beer to kill off any remaining yeast and bacteria, extending the shelf life of the product.

Both draught and draft beer can be served from a keg or cask. Draught beer is commonly served at a temperature of 7 to 10°C (45 to 50 °F), while draft beer is typically served at a colder temperature. The term draft or draught beer started to be utilized not only for the process of serving the beer but for the type of beer itself, drawn from a keg or cask.

Beer Types and Varieties

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world, and it comes in various types and varieties. The two most common types of beer are draught beer and bottled or canned beer.


Draught beer, also known as draft beer, is served from a pressurized keg or cask, while bottled or canned beer is served from a bottle or can. Draught beer is usually fresher and has a creamier texture than bottled or canned beer.

Craft beer is another type of beer that has gained popularity in recent years. It is made by small, independent breweries using traditional brewing methods and high-quality ingredients. Craft beers come in various styles, including IPAs, stouts, lagers, and ales.

IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a type of beer that is characterized by its hoppy flavor and higher alcohol content. It originated in England in the 19th century and was brewed for export to India. Today, IPAs are popular all over the world and come in various sub-styles, including American IPA, English IPA, and New England IPA.

Imported beers are beers that are brewed outside of the country where they are sold. They come in various styles and flavors and are often more expensive than domestic beers. Some popular imported beers include Heineken, Corona, and Stella Artois.

Miller Genuine Draft is a type of beer that is brewed by the Miller Brewing Company. It is a light beer that has a smooth, crisp taste and is served cold. It is available in both draught and bottled formats.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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