Is there a difference between “draft” and “draught” when referring to beer?

What is the difference between a draft beer system vs. a draught beer system? The definitions, spellings and pronunciations of the two words tend to confuse some people.  Therefore, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities of the two below.

What does Wikipedia say about draft vs. draught beer?

Wikipedia describes draught beer, also spelt draft, as beer served from a cask or keg rather than from a bottle or can. The Wikipedia entry explains that companies also use “draft” and “draught” as marketing terms to describe canned or bottled beers. Using them as marketing tools this way implies that they taste and appear like beers from a cask or keg.

Draft or Draught. Wikipedia's take on it.

From a grammatical perspective:

The folks at Writing Explained say that draught and draft are different spellings of the same word. However, the difference in spellings depends on where in the world you are. American English commonly uses “draft”, while British English uses “draught”. Therefore, the difference between the two just comes down to spelling.

Draught and draft are different spellings of the same word.

Draft Beer and Draught Beer from the Tax and Trade Bureau

Moreover, the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) outlines what they consider “draft” or “draught” in their Beverage Alcohol Manual, which directs how products should be classified, typed, and labeled. If the contents of the pasteurized beer packaged in containers of one gallon or larger are drawn off through a tap, spigot, faucet, or similar device, then the beer can be described as “draft” or “draught” beer. Additionally, pasteurized beers can be described as “draft brewed,” “draft beer flavor,” ect., if you note that it is pasteurized on the label

TTB beverage classification of Draft and Draught

So, there you have it: draft and draught are different spellings for beer that served from a cask or keg. Share it with the community over a draft or draught beer of your own!

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