Our servers are regularly asked to explain how craft beers and draft beers differ. There are many misconceptions about beer that make it confusing to order the right ones when you’re dining out. Fortunately, it’s actually easier than you think to differentiate between craft beers and draft beers.
A marketing miscommunication
Advertisers often mix up common nomenclature when promoting products, which all too often leads to more confusion than sales. Unfortunately, some people associate the phrase “draft beer” with low-quality or cheap ales made by a big, nationally-recognized manufacturer. However, draft beer simply refers to ales poured into a mug or glass from a tap. Any beer, whether it’s from a major brand or a craft label, can be a draft beer. The opposite of a draft beer isn’t crafted beer—it’s actually bottled or canned beer.
What is craft beer?
Craft beer is one produced traditionally in a small brewery. It differentiates itself from mass-produced lagers by offering seasonal flavor profiles, expert craftsmanship, higher-quality ingredients and a certain level of beer maturity. Craft breweries sell their product in cans, bottles, and kegs, so craft beers are available as draft beers.
Whereas the recipes for mass-market beers are usually updated to minimize the costs to manufacture it, craft brewers pride themselves on creating unique ales, lagers, and stouts with nontraditional ingredients. Pumpkin ales are particularly popular in the fall, whereas others experiment with beers crafted with coffee, pickles, and other unlikely additions. India Pale Ales are favored among the larger craft brewers and are found at any number of restaurants and bars.
While craft beer has been popular across the pond in the United Kingdom since the 1970s, the trend didn’t hit the United States until more recently. Now, the craft beer industry generates billions of dollars per year. People travel around the world to attend craft beer festivals and line up to learn how to make their own microbrews at home.
What should you order?
The analogy of a fine restaurant vs. a fast-food eatery is often applied to craft beer and mass-produced beer. Another marketing misconception, though, is that people wrongly associate craft beer with cutting-edge youth culture and mass-market beers with less-than-favorable qualities. While craft ales are usually of higher quality, there are still outstanding beers produced by major brewers. It all comes down to your own preferences.
There’s also the conundrum of getting a beer from the tap, in a bottle or in a can. A keg and a can actually seal in the freshness of the beer better than a bottle, so if you can, it is recommended that you order your ales from the tap or in a chilled can.
Looking for a selection of draft beers? Ground Round Bar & Grill serves numerous varieties to accompany our delicious menu items. We regularly offer beer specials so you can enjoy a few appetizers or even a burger when you stop by for a drink with friends or family. Visit us today for a cold beer, warm comfort food and a great time!