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The Difference Draft Beer Makes

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Understand the difference between the tap and the bottle when it comes to serving and appraising good beer

You may have heard the words “draft beer.” Perhaps you’ve heard them uttered by that insufferable 20-something who definitely shouldn’t have been at your favourite bar. Or maybe you read it on a menu, the one time you decided to consider your options instead of just immediately ordering a Pale Pilsen by default. Draft beer is becoming more and more popular in upscale bars and pubs of Metro Manila, but what is it, exactly? And more importantly, what makes it so different from the beer we’re already accustomed to?

The immediate difference is simple:  draft beer–or draught beer, if you’re talking to a Brit–is served on tap, drawn straight from a barrel or cask. This type of beer is stored, poured, and served there-and-then by bars with draft lines; as opposed to the type of beer we’re more used to, which is bottled and distributed, served individually or by the bucket.

It certainly seems simple, but when you consider what that means to people who are really serious about their beer, it makes all the difference because of one critical factor:  freshness. Draft beer is served fresh, which means you can easily distinguish its distinct flavours and notes; appreciate its subtleties and nuances; understand the fullness of its flavour. It’s also easier for beer connoisseurs to evaluate the color and aroma of the beer, because it can be immediately served in a clear glass. Some even insist on appreciating your draft beer as you would fine wine–by swirling it, and sniffing it before actually drinking it to taste. Whether or not this is something you could do when you’re out at a bar is entirely up to you.

But what can be said for certain about draft beer is that its recent return to the fore has sparked something of a revolution among discerning beer drinkers who are on the lookout for more distinct flavours and a unique drinking experience. If you would like to count yourself among these discerning drinkers, San Miguel is a good name to start with. The San Miguel Lifestyle Brews are familiar flavours: San Miguel Super Dry, San Miguel Premium All-Malt, and Cerveza Negra. On tap, these beverages take on a new dimension. Begin your discovery of draft beer with any of these excellent brews.

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Now available at The Keg (Fort Strip), The Sugar Factory (Shangri-la BGC), Snaps Sports Bar (Sofitel), Buffalo Wild Wings (Conrad, Glorietta, Estancia, Uptown Mall), Bugsy’s (BGC and Makati), Brick and Mortar (Fort Strip), Balkan (BGC), Z-Hostel (Makati), Dillingers (Greenbelt) and Mike and Jeni’s Gastropub (Marikina)

This article first appeared in Compass: A Style Premier for the Modern Man, November 2016

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