Well it happened again last night…twice. I had dropped by my local watering hole at Brewforia, and they had their usual selection of good craft beer on tap, but they also had their usual great selection of bottles. So…Decisions, decisions. Well then the bartender made it a little easier by asking if I wanted to try anything on tap…well, yes…yes I would. I decided to try the North Coast Old Rasputin that was on tap.
Now I’ve had the Old Rasputin before. I actually reviewed it here. In that review I wasn’t overly impressed with the beer. It was kinda dull and lifeless. I figured I would try it on tap and see if by some miracle I would begin to like it. Well the miracle happened! And let me be the first to say that my beer palate has matured over time since I last reviewed the Old Rasputin the first time, but I attribute this change in flavor almost exclusively to this beer being on tap…
It was big and malty and wonderfully balanced with just a hint of hops on the backside rounding out a very good beer experience. So why is it that some beers taste so good off the tap and ‘meh’ from the bottle? Now I’m not looking for a huge technical explanation, I know it has to do with the infusion of gases on tap and the release of gas through the head of the beer, etc that makes tap beers typically superior to bottle brews, but you would think that we could get better bottle technology that would compensate for this difference.
Later I was talking to one of the bartenders asking him about Widmer Brother’s Brrrbon, their Bourbon barrel aged Brrr, which is their winter brew. Again he said that it was great on tap, but in the bottle it was kind of flat and lifeless. That is two in one night! Unfortunately they no longer had the Brrrbon on tap for me to try, and maybe that is a good thing because I have a bottle of it at home in the bunker.
I guess this is more of a lament than anything else. It is difficult for me to get beer on tap. I live about 30 miles from Brewforia so the idea of going there and having a few is tempting, but the drive home keeps me from making this a regular habit. I’m trapped by bottles, and they seem inferior to the tap.
Which do you prefer? Bottles or Tap? Let us know in the poll below.