Is there/will there ever be any way to prevent skunk in clear/green bottles...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Derranged, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Aside from keeping out of light obviously. Special glass? Certain hops? As much as I like craft beer which is pretty much always in brown bottles, I still enjoy micro malt liquor in 40 oz bottles. While I would prefer that they use brown bottles, I admit it's kind of cool to see what you're drinking, especially when the bottle is nice and frosty cold.

    Typically I get my 40 ounce bottles from this one store that has them stacked in boxes. Even if there's an open box I'll just open up a new one and nobody ever says anything. Then as soon as I pull the bottles out of the boxes, I stick them in an empty box ( because this place does not have any plastic bags) then cover it up good and make sure its kept away from light until I'm ready to drink it. I haven't had a skunked bottle from there yet. For those who live in the lower New York area, the store I'm referring to Flair Beverage in Northern Manhattan. However, getting a bottle from any other retail store is a risk. A couple of weeks ago I bought a 40 of Colt 45 from the gas station and halfway through it was Pepe Le Pew.

    What say you? And please don't give me this speech about how "bad" macro malt liquor is, or how you'd rather drink water instead. I know it's not high quality stuff. Thanks.
     
  2. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (437) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Connoisseurs keep the bottle in a paper bag.
     
  3. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I did have it in a paper bag.
     
  4. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

  5. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,407) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    The breweries are changing the packaging to better protect the beer. But I don't see why they just don't go to cans, especially for German beers for instance, they're lighter, don't break, totally sealed.
     
    Derranged likes this.
  6. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,014) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I'd guess that despite your precautions it got sun light while you were drinking this bottle. If it had been skunked before you bought it, it would have been "Hello Pepe Le Pew" as soon as you opened the bottle.
     
    #6 drtth, Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    cavedave, AlcahueteJ and Derranged like this.
  7. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Cans certainly are the safer bet I agree. I guess I prefer the 40 bottle for nostalgic purposes.
     
    MikeP64 likes this.
  8. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,014) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Your solution at the store you use regularly is the only practical one that will guarantee success. Move the bottle from one closed case into another to protect it. Not only does sun skunk beer, incandescent light in many cold cases contains enough UV to skunk beer, just not as quickly as sunlight. Some places like the gas station you mentioned are not particularly careful at preventing light exposure from one source or another so for that place you mentioned your only practical solution is to not shop there at all.
     
    Derranged likes this.
  9. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Yea it looks like that probably is the best solution.
     
  10. Vason

    Vason Initiate (160) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    The reaction that causes skunking starts to happen immediately upon exposure to UV light, so even with the best of precautions, any beer is going to start skunking once exposed. Lighter lagers, like those that tend to come in a 40, will let the skunk smell shine through within minutes, even when the only exposure point is the open cap(though that will take longer)! Truly, the only way to completely prevent your beer from getting skunked is to do what you've done, and then to drink it inside, with the blinds closed, under incandescent, LED, or firelight, or at night under the same.

    Does incandescent light have that level of UV? I know Fluorescent lights are bad on the UV spectrum, but I'd thought Incandescent and LEDs were OK
     
  11. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Interestingly enough, the bottles that I got from that store never skunked even when I drank them outside on a sunny day.
     
  12. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,263) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Visible light up to 550 nanometers will cause skunking, it is not just UV.
     
  13. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    My option is cans.
     
  14. Vason

    Vason Initiate (160) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    Wow, that's good to know. 550 is a green-yellow, so going from there down to UV covers over half the visible light spectrum! So scratch what I said above. The only way to prevent skunking is to only drink at in the dark, or with astronomy groups.
     
  15. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Hop extracts like @hopfenunmaltz mentioned.

    Part of me doesn't get why the green and clear glass bottles don't go away. But the other part of me will only drink Miller High Life from the clear glass bottle. Can or even poured in a glass won't do. I'm not sure if I would feel the same way if the bottles were brown.
     
  16. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Champion (824) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I second the can option, that would solve things. My new bumper sticker is "Pass on Glass" LOL
    I love cans and that a lot of breweries are also, easy to pack, no breakage, and just the perfect little vessel for goodness.
    :sunglasses:
     
    Derranged likes this.
  17. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Aspirant (271) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I think the moral of the story is don't buy beer from gas stations. Who knows how long it has been sitting there. As for the malt liquor getting bad about halfway through it, are you sure it just isn't putting off its normal odor as it warms?
     
    Derranged likes this.
  18. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Na, it was a skunky smell. Malt liquor doesn't typically smell like that simply by warming up. Although it does get a bit unpleasant if you don't keep it cold.
     
  19. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I mean Schlitz uses brown bottles for their malt liquor so I'm sure people would eventually learn to deal with it.
     
    scottakelly likes this.
  20. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    For what it's worth, it's been noted and confirmed (mine own eyes) that Höfbräu is switching to brown .330l bottles in their six-packs. Someone out there is listening! :slight_smile:
     
    LuskusDelph and Derranged like this.
  21. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    There's a gas station in my area that stocks one of the best selections of craft beer I've seen -- carries some beers that the designated beer stores don't have. Owner keeps a good eye on his stock too. Probably helps that he's a beer lover.
     
  22. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (475) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I just had one earlier this week, so I can confirm!
     
    LuskusDelph and steveh like this.
  23. HorseheadsHopHead

    HorseheadsHopHead Savant (982) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    The better idea is for breweries to stop putting beer in clear/green bottles. :expressionless:
     
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  24. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    That would ruin their "iconic look".
     
  25. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Tell that to HB -- they seem to be seeing the "light." Maybe they'll convince others that brown is the new green. :wink:
     
    HorseheadsHopHead likes this.
  26. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (477) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    With the clear bottles yea, but green bottles I don't get it. You may as well be drinking from a brown bottle since you can't see the beer's color. Ballantine Pale Ale made the change from green to brown within the past year or so.
     
  27. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I got that "iconic look" comment from a print interview with, I believe, a Heineken executive. There was also some concern that changing bottle color might confuse regular customers accustomed to lager in a green bottle and dark beer in a brown bottle.
     
    steveh likes this.
  28. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yeah, I remember that interview/discussion... never mind that all Heineken is bottled in brown in its home country. :wink:
     
  29. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I thought it a bit of a reach myself but sometimes executives find reasons to excuse their own indecision. Of course no decision is a decision.
     
    steveh likes this.
  30. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,885) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Of course, @jesskidden would jump on me for this, I forgot that Pilsner Urquell switched to brown bottles too -- maybe they initiated the trend -- with HB taking notice!
     
  31. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (737) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    40 oz cans?
     
  32. bbtkd

    bbtkd Meyvn (1,249) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    I've always gotten a kick out of the Corona commercials that show folks on the beach on a sunny day with their Coronas sitting in a tub of ice in the sun, in clear bottles, skunking. Last time I posted about that, someone indicated that Corona is brewed to reduce the hop oils that lead to that, but that won't totally eliminate the issue. The new Corona commercials show their canned beer sitting out in the sun...
     
  33. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'm not picky.
     
    Jaycase and VABA like this.
  34. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (737) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Isn't Malt liquor meant to be gulped down so quickly that you can't taste it. The fact that it's skunked should not matter.
     
  35. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    No, that's Ice Beer.
     
    VABA likes this.
  36. Lazhal

    Lazhal Aspirant (272) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    So, why the hell isn't beer in black glass bottles? Are they too costly for some reason?
     
  37. mudbug

    mudbug Zealot (594) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    Nearly all commercial glass bottle production is either clear (flint) green or amber. Making a limited production of black glass would be an astronomically expensive proposition as the amount of waste glass created during the color change to and from black and the energy expenses would prohibit it, much cheaper to just paint the outside (Like Rogue does)
     
    DonicBoom and Lazhal like this.
  38. Squire123

    Squire123 Meyvn (1,435) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Too ugly more likely, or some negative association with the color revealed by marketing research. It's been tried a few times but doesn't seem to catch on.
     
    VABA likes this.
  39. Lazhal

    Lazhal Aspirant (272) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Thanks! No wonder breweries just go for cans instead!
     
  40. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (737) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    no it's both!
     
    LuskusDelph and Squire123 like this.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.