Green vs Brown – Which would you choose?
So yesterday as I was handed a pint of Kingfisher beer, I chose to share with a friend the fact that green bottles have been proved to be worse for storing beer than brown. He laughed at what to him was pointlessness information, but is a much debated topic in beer circles. So I’m sharing it with you, in case you haven’t heard it already, and hoping for a better response!
The owners of BrewDog have gone to the extent of saying, “Any beer in a clear or green bottle is made by brewers who don’t give a damn about their beer or the people who drink it. Feel free to take organised vigilante action against anyone who drinks beer from a clear or green bottle.” Well, vigilante or not, I do think this whole green vs brown thing is pretty interesting.
Scientifically, it has been found that the wavelengths of light which penetrate clear and green glass affect the hops in a beer and cause it to become old and skunky. Some people claim that it is like the beer equivalent of leaving milk in the sun. Apparently Chemists at the University of North Carolina and Ghent University in Belgium have found that ‘sunlight breaks down alpha acids in hops that react with sulphur to make a chemical that is nearly identical to the smelly chemical that skunks spray’. Brown glass on the other hand is resistant to these types of light, which allows the beer to stay fresh and un-smelly.
So why do beer companies still use green bottles? One reason is probably that green bottles are more eye catching than staid brown ones. Other than that, I’m not sure.
With big brands like Corona, Peroni, Tuborg, Carlsberg opting for green/clear bottles, it makes you wonder how much truth there is to this whole theory. This is all I know about it. It won’t stop me from drinking KF pints. Atleast not yet. If you have more information on this please do share.