I’ve been traveling all week and visiting a hugely diverse selection of local pubs in New York City. My tour guides vary, but they all seem to take my tourista status as a challenge. Who can procure the best pub for my palate?
I’m loving the nights out, but I’m loving watching them try to pin me down even more.
Last night, after a stiff “Glasgow Fix” made by the surly barkeep, Keith at Vintry Wine and Whiskey, I was starving, ready for a burger and a seriously standard beer. We settled the tab and left, heading next for a bar my companion dubbed “a dive bar,” which as a pretty easy to please gal, was sort of off the mark. Yeah, it was basic, but sometimes that’s all you really need. Our server said they were out of my first choice, a cold Kingfisher Lager. My ears peaked at a similar beer on tap, although the server did add, “our tap lines are being kind of weird.”
Before I could order a draft, my friend stopped me, warning me of something I’d forgotten in the moment – draft beer is notorious for the worst hangovers, especially when there’s something “weird” going down with the tap lines.
Draft Beer: It’s Not a Hangover, It’s an Infection
The beer community is divided on this one: but from the brewers I’ve chatted with to the bar patrons themselves, the old rule of thumb which asserts that draft beer causes nasty hangovers seems to hold up to scrutiny, at least anecdotally.
The theory? Irregularly cleaned or poorly kept draft lines are breeding grounds for bacteria that invade your body like a sinus infection with each sip. While it’s true that bacteria could create a more acidic tasting beer, the jury is still out on the truth surrounding this question. My experience has correlated with the bad hangover theory.
If you’re a regular at a draft pouring pub, recommend that they clean their draft lines every two to six weeks (ha, good luck!). If you still don’t feel comfortable, pour from a bottle or hit up a different spot. Especially if you’re up for work at seven the next morning.
Last night, I stuck to the bottle and made it to my train on time. I’m calling that a win.
Care to weigh in? Do tapped beers come with a heavier hangover?
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