Monday, January 16, 2006

Green bottles and skunky beer

Have you ever noticed that some beers have a lot more of that "skunky" flavor than others? That taste is caused by a chemical reaction in the hops, triggered by the ultraviolet component of sunlight.

No glass bottle is skunk-proof, but green or clear bottles are the worst. Five minutes of direct sunlight can skunk your Rolling Rock. Some brewers, notably Heineken and Grolsch, incorporate skunk into the flavor profile. If you ever find Heineken on draft, compare it to the bottled version. You'll find that it tastes a lot less like the Heineken you know. In fact, draft Heiney tastes pretty much like nothing.

If you hate skunk, buy cans or beer in brown bottles. Pittsburgh's Iron City sells beer in an aluminum bottle that has the side benefit of keeping your beer super cold. Lok for it in beer stores around the USA.


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