Both the terms draft beer and draught beer are sometimes used interchangeably. The two do differ slightly from one another, though. While “draught” is frequently used in British English, the word “draft” is more frequently used in American English.
Beer was transported and served from barrels in the 18th century, and the phrase “draft” was used to describe the process of pulling the beer from the barrel. The word “draft” is derived from the Old English word “dragan,” which meaning “to draw or pull.”
On the other hand, beer that is served from a cask or keg without the use of any external pressure is referred to as being “draught” in British English.
The beer is normally poured from the cask using a hand pump, and is typically served at room temperature. In this context, the term “draught” is used to describe the act of removing the beer from the cask. The word “draught” is derived from the Old English word “dragan,” which meaning “to carry or pull.”
Understanding Draft and Draught Beer
Draft and draught beer are two spellings of the same word that refer to beer served from a keg or cask rather than from a bottle or can.
In British English, “draught” is used to refer specifically to beer and pulling, such as a “draught horse,” while “draft” is used for plans and sketches. In American English, “draught” is rarely used as a spelling variant of “draft,” except in reference to beer or the container from which it is poured.
The term “draft beer” or “draught beer” became almost exclusively used to refer to beer served under pressure in the early 1970s. This type of beer generally tastes better than bottled beer because of the brewing process, storage, and dispensing factors. Draft beer is also more environmentally friendly than bottled beer since it doesn’t require as much packaging and transportation.
Draft beer is served straight from a keg or cask and comes out of the pumps at a bar, whereas bottled beer is stored in a bottle and canned beer is stored in a can. All keg beer is draft beer, but not all draft beer is keg beer. Keg beer comes specifically from a pressurized keg, while other types of draft beer can come from a variety of containers, such as casks or barrels.
The spelling of “draft” vs. “draught” can be confusing, but the difference is mainly regional. In the United States, “draft” is the more commonly used spelling, while in the United Kingdom, “draught” is preferred. However, some companies use “draft” and “draught” as marketing terms to describe canned or bottled beers.
The production process of draft and draught beer is similar. Both types of beer go through the same brewing process which 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 and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Filtering and Pasteurization
After fermentation, the beer is filtered to remove any remaining yeast and other particles. Filtering can be done using various methods such as centrifugation, diatomaceous earth filtration, or membrane filtration. Some beers, particularly real ale, are unfiltered and undergo a secondary fermentation in the cask or keg.
Pasteurization is a process of heating the beer to a high temperature to kill any remaining yeast and bacteria. Pasteurized beer has a longer shelf life and is more stable than unpasteurized beer. However, some beer enthusiasts argue that pasteurization can affect the flavor and aroma of the beer.
After filtration and pasteurization, the beer is carbonated. Carbonation can be achieved naturally through secondary fermentation in the cask or keg, or artificially through forced carbonation using carbon dioxide gas.
Draft beer is typically stored in stainless steel kegs or barrels and served fresh from the tap. Draught beer, on the other hand, is traditionally stored in casks and served at cellar temperature without any additional carbon dioxide.
Varieties of Draft and Draught Beer
When it comes to draft and draught beer, there are a variety of options available to beer lovers.
This section will explore some of the most popular varieties of draft and draught beer, including craft beers, IPAs, and cask beers.
Craft beers are a popular variety of draft and draught beer that are known for their unique flavors and high quality. They are typically brewed by small, independent breweries and are often made with locally sourced ingredients. Craft beers can be found on tap in many bars and restaurants and are a favorite among beer enthusiasts.
India Pale Ale, or IPA, is a type of beer that is known for its hoppy flavor and high alcohol content. IPAs can be found in both draft and bottled form and are a popular choice among beer drinkers who enjoy a strong, bitter taste. They are often paired with spicy or savory foods and are a staple in many craft beer breweries.
Cask beers, also known as real ales, are a type of beer that is served from a cask rather than a keg. They are often served at room temperature and are known for their rich, complex flavors. Cask beers are typically less carbonated than other types of beer and are often served with a hand pump to allow for a more traditional pouring experience.