I simply don’t understand why brewers who care about their product continue to use green bottles. Since not everyone reading this knows what green bottles do to beer, allow me to explain – they let light in that interacts with the hops in such a way as to render what might have been a decent beer at one point nearly undrinkable and smelling of skunkbutt. There are several beers that are highly respected – Pilsner Urquell and Dinkel-Acker among them – who continue to use the green bottles in the hopes that more Americans will buy them simply because of the color of the bottle. (OK, there are a lot of my fellow countrymen who are like that; these fine folk, however, are also the ones who like the skunky taste, thinking that they taste “imported”.) I can’t imagine that esteemed European brewers don’t mind that their product ends up tasting like an unhappy dog who lost a fight in the woods… could it be that the profit they get from the American market overrides their natural desire to produce a quality product? Yes, we all know that money talk$, but this is really ridiculous. I’d buy these beers in the light-sealed 12 packs, but alas, I just don’t drink enough to warrant buying that much of one beer at a time.
Don’t believe me? Okay, try this. Pick a beer you know to be in a green bottle that happens to be sold in a light-sealed pack (Pilsner Urquell does this with their 12-packs). Stick the beer in the fridge, still in the light sealed pack, and wait for a nice sunny day. Pull out two of the beers, set one on the counter, and the other in direct sunlight for about 15 minutes. Pour both and compare. Amazing, isn’t it?
Now take that same green bottle, and put it in a sixer at your local beer store with the fluorescent lights shining on it noon and night… lovely, eh?
It’s not just the European brewers that are guilty, either – Rolling Rock does the same thing. The bottles (painted instead of labeled) are impressive, and so is the aroma – but not in the way that they’d like, I’m sure. It’s sad to see that a brewery has to resort to selling their product on the basis of the color of their beers. Why brag about the “glass-lined” tanks at your brewery when you’re going to put your product in a green bottle and negate any flavor advantage you might have gained? And Moosehead, Dos Equis? You ought to be equally ashamed of yourselves.
I’ve also heard (but not found out for sure) that green bottles are harder to recycle than brown or white. I’m not sure why this would be, but if it’s true, it would be one more reason to stop doing this.
It would be a sad state of affairs indeed if the only things propping up these breweries in question was the extra profit they incurred from duping the American public into thinking that the beer was special simply because of the color of the bottle, wouldn’t it? Frustrating…
So when you go to buy beer, and you’ve decided on a beer that comes in a green bottle, you can always ask for a fresh 6er from the back cooler, or if they’re stacked up in a pyramid for the big holiday coming up, pull a few out and take one from the inside if you can. Save yourself the aggravation. And be sure to tell the pimply-chinned stock boy with the bewildered facial expression precisely what you’re doing… and why.