Beer on tap vs. canned or bottled

What’s with all the canned/bottled Guinness? Never cared for it that way. There’s plenty on tap all over metro New York. Is it hard to find out West?

We were at a small dive bar/cafe. I’m pretty sure their on tap selection is small.

I dislike almost all bottled and canned beers but canned Guinness with the nitrogen ball is one of the few exceptions. There are lots of places that have Guinness on nitrogen tap, but I wouldn’t go to them on America Gets Shitfaced Day.


Canned or bottles beers are not worse than draft beer but more important is the canning day and in between storage temperature (not unlike other foods). In addition, there are also difference between the different beer styles and how good they “survive” suboptimal storage conditions (especially temperature), e.g. stouts are “easier” to store suboptimal than IPAs (and even between IPAs east coast IPA have more issues than west coast styles)


Beer that’s on nitrogen tap, like Guinness, is different when bottled or canned unless it’s in a can with a nitrogen capsule.

Canned and bottled beer may theoretically be no worse than draft if stored and transported at the right temperature, but as a practical matter unless they’re canned to order at a brewpub they’re always inferior. Other than Guinness, the only bottled / canned beers I like are sour. I presume the acid preserves them.

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Kegs have the same issue as cans or bottles and are only as good as their storage and transportation conditions. A proper stored can (and to a certain degree bottle but they always will have issues with light) is as good as a proper stored keg (and superior to any suboptimal stored keg). Drafts can often have issues with the cleanliness of their lines which might be good in committed craft beer bars but are often more questionable in many other locations.
re: sours - that really depends if you are talking about fruited vs non-fruited sours and also if you go after kettle sours or not. With sours it is quite often interesting to age (obviously not with kettle sours) them, not unlike wine and in that case bottled is often the preferred way.


I guess the bars where I drink beer are careful to source only from distributors that keep them cold. I’ve stopped going to some places because they didn’t clean their lines properly.

In my experience, sour beers are fine in bottles or cans, doesn’t matter whether they have fruit or not.

Given my druthers I’d probably drink most styles of beer only from hand pump.


I feel similarly. I do prefer my beer on tap, but there are caveats. The explosion of craft beer makers has changed my beer palate…


I always prefer beer on tap. Cans are great to bring home from the brewery.

I’ve had a couple of cans of beer with nitro. I guess it’s difficult to can beers with nitro. Green Cheek has had a few IPAs on nitro. They were ok but not my favorite. The mouthfeel was definitely smooth and creamy but the beer was kinda bland. Very little aroma and no hoppy-ness. Lefthand brewing also makes a milk stout with nitro. This one was a little more successful but I’m not a big milk stout fan so never purchased again.

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