Tap vs. Pack Beer – What's Best for Your Business?
Many Aussie cafés, sports clubs, caterers, small bars and restaurants will order in 24-pack cartons of beer thinking it’s the simplest option, but they often don’t realise that keg beer is a viable and affordable alternative. So which option is best for business? Will customers care about the difference, and how could the choice affect your till? Let’s explore the benefits of tap beer, cans and bottles.
Which is fresher?
It might seem odd to focus on beer freshness, but beer, just like food, is indeed a perishable product. Flavour and aroma can drop off over time (particularly in more hoppy beers like IPAs), so the fresher the better. Bottles and cans will often have up to a 9-month shelf life or more so by the time they’re sold onto your business, and then onto your customers, the character of the beer can well and truly be lost. Kegs, on the other hand, tend to have a much shorter shelf life so by choosing draught beer you can be confident that you’re receiving the freshest possible beer – and most importantly, you won’t be serving up stale or flavourless drinks.
Which tastes better?
It’s said that around 75% of the flavour we perceive comes from our sense of smell. The open mouth of a beer glass allows you to experience the full flavour and aroma of beer, while the small openings of bottles or cans provide less of an opportunity to savour its potential. Whilst you can always pour glass or canned beer into a glass, it then comes back to freshness, and we now know all about that! There’s also the factor of storage to take into account. Ever heard of the term ‘light struck’ when it comes to beer? We explore this in more depth in our ‘light struck’ article but essentially storing glass bottles, especially clear glass bottles, in standard bar fridges can immediately start to impact the flavour of the beer. So if you’re wanting to offer the best-tasting beer, a general rule of thumb would be draught first, cans second, and bottles third depending of course on how much beer you sell per week.
Which makes for a better drinking experience?
Which sounds more appealing: a can of beer, or a frosty pint glass full of golden liquid with just the right amount of head? There’s a reason we talk about the “theatre of beer”. Draught beer is an experience from the moment you walk into a bar: from making your choice between branded beer taps, to watching the bartender complete a perfect pour, to the first refreshing sip and beyond. Customers can see the product and its colour, which is likely to inspire repeat purchases. And at the end of the day that can contribute more to your till…
Which leads to better revenue?
We’ll be diving into the details of beer costs and profits in an upcoming article, but if we’re talking about getting the most out of your beer menu then pouring it straight from cold taps at the bar can provide a better revenue opportunity than bottles or cans for a few reasons. Punters expect to pay $10-14 for a pint in 2019, and even more for a boutique beer whereas a standard 330ml beer bottle generally can’t command that price-point. Why? It’s not just the larger serving size, but also a little thing we like to call ‘beer theatre’, both of which customers are willing to pay more for. So in terms of giving your business the best platform to drive more revenue from beer, you simply can’t go past draught beer.
Ultimately it pays to know your customer base and the way they love to drink their beer – but we know which option we’d choose. For fresh, flavourful beer from Australia’s favourite breweries as well as beer tap systems, get in touch with the friendly Malt Shovel team today.