Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Newbie Question - Whats up with wax?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by KevinGordon, Jan 16, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. KevinGordon

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Posts:
    372
    Likes Received:
    610
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Some bottles are coated in wax. What gives? Besides making that bottle an incredible pain in the arse to open, does the wax serve any purpose besides looking fancy? I feel like I need Mr Miyagi to get the wax off..
     
    floraday likes this.
  2. mcaulifww

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    716
    Location:
    Virginia
    it may create a better seal on bottles ment to be aged. a bottle that is just capped might let in some oxygen. otherwise, it just looks cute
     
  3. DSlim71

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Posts:
    526
    Likes Received:
    526
    Location:
    New Jersey
    By coating the caps with wax, brewers are trying to prevent oxidation by not letting as much air in through the cap. Ideally, you will be able to age bottles longer because of the wax compared to regular capping.
     
    acevenom, dianimal and jglowe77 like this.
  4. KevinGordon

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Posts:
    372
    Likes Received:
    610
    Location:
    North Carolina
    thanks for the info!
     
  5. kdmcguire10

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Posts:
    407
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    Michigan
    The wax serves to reinforce the seal, adding some additional insurance against potential oxidation.

    Removing the wax can be done a number of different ways. I typically just score the entire area around the cap enough to allow me to get my standard opener latched on. Then, just pop it open as normal.
     
  6. Kadonny

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Posts:
    2,108
    Likes Received:
    1,727
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I hate the wax purely for being a pain in the ass to open. I had an Olde Hickory this past weekend that I couldn't get the damn wax off of. Frustrating.
     
  7. UnderJoath

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Posts:
    195
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Illinois
    Practice, kiddies.
     
  8. Zhiguli

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Posts:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    773
    Location:
    California
    lowers friction when we geeks attempt to self-penetrate with aged bottles
     
    DanK4, fullmetal1381, ijaap and 20 others like this.
  9. kenpo23

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Posts:
    116
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Forget all of these logical reasons....
    the brewers just wanna play with some wax.
     
  10. Lare453

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Posts:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    1,750
    Location:
    Florida
    I wish there was a love button, not just a like.
     
    ChicagoShoop and crushedvol like this.
  11. mhksuccess

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Posts:
    729
    Likes Received:
    3,518
    Location:
    California
    I like the wax for aging but do agree that it is difficult to open
    I learned the hard way last year when I hosted a tasting and toward the end of the night after numerous beers
    tried to open a bottle of the Bruery CUIR and sliced my thumb
    drinking the bottle helped the pain but will definitely use a different method next time removing some was
     
    glaze3 likes this.
  12. ShogoKawada

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Posts:
    1,700
    Likes Received:
    3,013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Wax: it's how a beer that would be $12 in sixpacks turns into a $22 750ml bottle.
     
  13. MADhombrewer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Posts:
    771
    Likes Received:
    693
    Location:
    Oregon
    To open: take a knife and move from bottom of wax to the cap. Peel off. This makes it very easy to open.
    Also you can take a knife and make an "x" in the top of the cap an peel wax off like a banana.
    It does take a little practice.
     
    cosmicevan likes this.
  14. Mothergoose03

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Posts:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    4,684
    Location:
    Michigan
  15. ABisonEgo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Posts:
    255
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Illinois
    Ive heard that a bottle that is waxed always tastes better than unwaxed bottles. Example: Dark Lord vs Guinness
     
  16. dawatts

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Posts:
    336
    Likes Received:
    487
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Looks like Backlash is probably not waxing their bottles anymore. And "easier to open" is one of the reasons, and keeping costs lower. That being said, their wax dipped, and then brass knuckle stamped top is bad ass.

    http://backlashbeer.com/2012/12/03/wax-on-wax-off/
     
  17. LeRose

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Posts:
    2,335
    Likes Received:
    5,924
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I was thinking that with the intelligence displayed in some of the clips in the best beer videos thread, there must have been some nimrod somewhere who tried to melt the wax off with a blowtorch...or microwave...
     
    Zach136 likes this.
  18. SeaOfShells

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Posts:
    286
    Likes Received:
    258
    Location:
    California
    I had an Arcadia BA Shipwreck Porter, and it was laughably difficult to open the beer.
     
    szmnnl99 likes this.
  19. imbrue001

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Posts:
    831
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Too lazy to make a new label for each variation of the same beer.
     
    luwak likes this.
  20. Pecan

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Posts:
    372
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Arizona
    The real question is: Once I get through the wax, how the hell am I supposed to get this metal disk off the top? God, it's on there so tight and it makes it sooooo difficult to open. Advice?
     
    RaulMatisse and ericj551 like this.
  21. imbrue001

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Posts:
    831
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It's also a way to persuade people subcontiously that the beer is extra special and thus worthy of a higher markup. It's like how wax seal stamps on envelopes look all fancy. Surely the sender wrote it with a feather dipped in ink.
     
    LeRose likes this.
  22. RDMII

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    1,699
    Location:
    Georgia
    Waxed caps are fine and simple to remove, it's the waxed swing tops that I hate. Sweetwater's 1L 2010 Festive Ale took me 30 minutes to open and I had to vacuum the kitchen to get up all the little pieces.
     
  23. jacksback

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Posts:
    498
    Likes Received:
    323
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Hey, the beer was gonna suck anyway.
     
  24. JustXBeer

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Posts:
    230
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    California
    that must have been fun :eek:
     
  25. TWStandley

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Posts:
    932
    Likes Received:
    4,000
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    It is so that when you are drinking and the power goes out, you can pick up the wax, roll it into a ball, take off a shoelace and poke it through the middle to create a candle.
     
    beertunes and dachshunddude86 like this.
  26. acevenom

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Posts:
    883
    Likes Received:
    2,222
    Location:
    Louisiana
    That's where having a combination of a wine corkscrew and a bottle opener all in one tool is useful. It's a good grip and the length gives you plenty of leverage. I've had no trouble getting through wax with that thing.
     
  27. JustXBeer

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Posts:
    230
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    California
    This works evey time
    [​IMG]
     
  28. drewone

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Posts:
    334
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    California
    Waxed caged and corked are the worst!
     
  29. cbeer88

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Posts:
    3,096
    Likes Received:
    3,652
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Despite the rationale of being better for long-term aging, I genuinely believe 90% of the bottles out there are waxed to stand out.

    Most wax comes off pretty easily once you've done it enough. Except The Bruery, because they use like a quarter inch of wax...
     
    beertunes likes this.
  30. ShogoKawada

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Posts:
    1,700
    Likes Received:
    3,013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Or Arbitrator's. That sadist likes to wax corked and caged beers.
     
    adamcarlson28 likes this.
  31. JustXBeer

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Posts:
    230
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    California
    Now that must be really fun...lol
     
  32. sandiego67

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Posts:
    999
    Likes Received:
    1,012
    Location:
    California
    Sabre it.

     
    jarrgal, Pecan and JustXBeer like this.
  33. MarcatGSB

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Posts:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Location:
    Michigan
    I take it no one was paying attention to Ray Daniels tweet fest on wax about a month ago? He went into it IN depth, from type of wax, to why wax? If a beer does not get any oxygen thru the crown, how can it further develop, therefore what's the point? It was educational to say the least.
     
  34. Chelsea1905

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Posts:
    281
    Likes Received:
    265
    Location:
    Washington
    Shows of the years some bottles were waxed too.

    Personally I think some of it is a gimmick. Surely caged and corked is just as good, but if a brwery doesn't have acces to cage and cork, or even cap and cork, then I can see it being somehwat cool

    However, if it is meant to be for "aging" purposes to make sure a bottle doesn't oxidize, then why are some IPA's waxed? Surely you'd not want to age them anyway.
     
  35. KevinGordon

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Posts:
    372
    Likes Received:
    610
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I dont know about that comparison. I've never had Dark Lord, but isnt it possible that it tastes better than Guinness because Guinness doesn't taste that good?
     
  36. KevinGordon

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Posts:
    372
    Likes Received:
    610
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I wish I saw this, but I dont use twitter, so...
     
  37. LivingWeapon

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Posts:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Illinois
    I have yet to have a waxed bottle. But thats because Im young and poor. Probably going to go pick up a waxed bottle of something now, for some reason Im very curious as to how hard it is to get off.

    Nope. Its all because of the wax
     
  38. tgchief

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Posts:
    316
    Likes Received:
    993
    Location:
    Iowa
    It's pinkies up...you know, fancy pants....nothing more. Lots of fun for brewers, messy additional costs for owners, gingerbread for marketers!
     
  39. ijaap

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Posts:
    78
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Washington
    On the other side of the spectrum, it is ridiculously tedious to actually apply the wax to beers. Currently doing this. As a buyer, when I see a beer with a wax seal I always investigate said beer.
     
  40. ABisonEgo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Posts:
    255
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Illinois
    I was being completely sarcastic. As stated above, mostly for oxidation and aging purposes
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe