Why Does Beer Taste Better at the Bar? (No Matter How You Drink It!)

You may have noticed that beer often tastes better at the bar, no matter what you get. Does the bartender just have a trick to serving better beer?

Beer at the bar always seems to taste better than at home. While this may have to do with the experience of going out or if your beer was on tap, it could also be because of specific factors that you have less control over at home, such as the selection variety and freshness. A good bar will also serve your beer in the intended glass for that style.

Keep reading for all the reasons that beer might taste better at the bar.

Does beer really taste better at the bar?

After a cold, refreshing brew during happy hour, you might wonder if the beer here is just better. You might have the same brand at home, but it seems fresher at your local bar. Take a look around. It might not be the beer, but the presentation or your surroundings.

Sure, sometimes beer tastes better out at the bar. When enjoyed in moderation, beer undoubtedly offers a certain amount of lift in happiness or spirit. In fact, the benefits of drinking a bottle or a pint of beer are elevated in a bar. With an ample supply of different brands at bars, you are sure to find the right beer to enjoy, which you might not have at home. 

The beer you drink at the bar may taste better than it does at home for several reasons:

  • Beer often tastes better on tap because of temperature and carbonation control
  • A wider selection of beers is available
  • Regular consumption means the beer is always fresh
  • Correct glass for the style of beer
  • Proper storage to keep the beer fresh
  • The ambience

Bars Offer Draft Beer

Any bar worth salt offers at least a few beers on tap. Bars offer a variety of beers with great taste, quality, and feel to accommodate the different preferences of thirsty patrons.

Draft beer tends to taste fresher, as it is stored in a keg at a stable temperature.

That is not to say that bottled or canned beer cannot compete, but some beers just taste better on tap.

Bars Offer Variety

Bars generally offer a variety of beer, which you may not have at home.

Their reputation is often built on high-quality and unique brands on their beer menu. The average person might have a couple of options in the fridge. At a bar, you can sample the whole lot!

Fresh Supply

Even an average bar receives a steady flow of thirsty patrons.

Of course, beer can be stored for a while without losing flavor or spoiling. However, we can all agree that a fresh product tastes best. For instance, beers high in hops taste best when consumed soon after completion.

Your homebrew may be fresh, but you will need some time to drink it all, depending on the quantity brewed. If you bought your beer in-store, it was on the shelves before it reaches yours, where it sits for some time longer.  

Choose Your Ambience

A “bar” is a general term. Dive-, gastro-, and rooftop bars each serve a different side of ambiance with your beer. People go to these places alone or with friends, to unwind or to socialize.

The ambiance you choose can heighten the enjoyment of your beer. When having a quality beer in a good bar, you participate in the culture. You can enjoy your beer with friends or find new ones among the surrounding patrons. 

Some bars cater to those who want to socialize by offering bar seating or board games. You can just come by on the weekend, without having to plan or host at home. Other bars provide a laid-back, calm atmosphere with nooks and lounge chairs. You can quietly enjoy a drink after work but passively enjoy some company.

Beer in the Right Glass

A good bar serves certain beers in their intended glasses, which best present the flavors. 

In addition to flavor, the glass promotes the look of your beer. Instead of the usual glasses at home, you can enjoy the look of a specialized glass. Or, if you’re drinking from a bottle, the label design of a craft brew.

Why does Stella Artois come in a tulip? Or Leffe in a goblet?  

The right glass unlocks the aroma profile of your beer:

GlassType of Beer
Goblet or chaliceBelgian ale, German bock
Pint glassBritish ale, stout, lager, pale ale, pilsner
Snifter glassDouble or Imperial IPA, Belgian ale, barley wine, wheat wine
Stange glassGerman kölsch
Tulip glassScottish ale, pale ale, American double or imperial IPA
Weizen or wheat glassWheat beer

There are also plenty of novelty glasses like classic beer mugs, boots, and steins.  

Proper Storage

Bars with a selection of beers have the right storage conditions to ensure freshness.

Kegs and bottles are kept in cool, dark rooms or refrigerators. Improper storage, such as prolonged exposure to sunlight, can damage your beer at home, leaving it bitter or “skunked.” ]

When brewing at home, you might only have the capacity to keep one batch at a time. In the summer, proper storage conditions can be challenging to maintain.

Proper storage applies to beers stored in both keg and bottle. Many Belgian beers, for instance, are fermented and served from a bottle. These beers, like Delirium Tremens, are recognized around the world. 


The benefits of drinking beer (in moderation!) in a bar are clear to see. The calming effect supports your enjoyment and improves your mood. Sometimes, beer in a bar is “better” just because you do not have it at home.

In most cases, however, contributing factors make the beer taste better. Whether the setting or the presentation, the context sets the tone for an enjoyable beer. In addition, having a bottle or two with close friends while socializing at a bar is a recipe for a nice evening.