Many beer aficionados prefer beer on tap over bottled beer, but tap might not always be better. Charles Bamforth, author of Beer Is Proof God Loves Us and professor of malting and brewing sciences at UC Davis, told Chow how he decides between tap or bottle.
Photo by Melanie Lukesh
The ideal beer may be beer on tap, but it requires the establishment to clean the lines daily:
“If you have only one or two on tap and the person knows what they’re doing and at the end of the day they’re cleaning the lines and then rerunning the beer through the taps to expunge any cleaning solution, at the end of the day, it has the potential to be the best.”
An impressive number of beers on tap might not really serve you best, then, unless the bars and restaurants clean those lines nightly.
To get the best beer on tap, ask the bar or restaurant which beer is sold most, Bamforth advises. And for all types of beer, choose local instead of imported beer to avoid unintentional ageing. (Unless, perhaps, the beer was meant to be aged in a bottle, like higher alcohol, hoppy or darker beers.)
Tap or bottle? What do you prefer?