Does Draught Beer Contain Formaldehyde?
On the second page, it actually says (in a roundabout way) that methanol (not ethanol) is converted to formaldehyde. There should not be any harmful levels of methanol in any beer.
Much of this urban myth can be attributed to breweries in China, Korea etc where higher levels of formaldehyde were detected. Read more here.
Yeah, this has got to be BS. I have seen far too many bartenders drink draught beer. The beer that goes into the bottle is the same that goes into most kegs. You need to go to better bars (brewpubs) and drink better beer (micros or Guinness or Sam Adams).
I would, however, stick to bottled beer if to guarantee a healthy beer if your local bar is a bit suspect. Draught beerlines should be cleaned every 7 days. After 10 days you should see the crap that builds ups in the lines with beer basically going cloudy with a “foosty” smell evident in the glass. And an improper clean makes it very easy to get a tainted pint, either chemically or moudly. My friend used to work cleaning taps in college (it was a great job; make your own schedule — the bartender usually pours you a couple beers — gotta test the tap — sometimes you get tipped). However, he’d tell me to avoid some places because their taps were set up in such a way that the lines couldn’t be cleaned (most of the time this was because they were real long, and went out to the cellar or something). He also mentioned that occasionally there’d be big ass tapeworms that would somehow get into the taps, and just sit there, guzzling away beer until they became large enough to be discovered.
Much of this urban myth can be attributed to breweries in China, Korea etc where higher levels of formaldehyde were detected. This was accepted as truth by pretty much everyone here in Korea back in the mid- to late-90’s, and the dire chemical foulness of the draft beer at the time seemed to confirm it. Although the beer is better than it was (but is still no great shakes), many foreigners still take it as gospel. I don’t know how urban-mythy it is, or was, here in Korea though. It is true still that most Korean drinking establishments that serve draft have no idea that they should keep their lines clean, or how to do it.