The science of brown beer bottles: Expert reveals how the darker hue blocks UVs to prevent brews from getting ‘lightstruck’

From, by Maggie O'Neill

There is a reason beer is commonly packaged in brown bottles. Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company quality director Jaime Schier explains that brown bottles better protect beer from becoming lightstruck, or going bad (file photo)

  • When beer is exposed to light, a compound called MBT sometimes forms
  • Compound causes a bizarre taste and smell, otherwise known as being skunked
  • It causes beer to ‘become lightstruck’, which means it has gone bad
  • Here, an expert explains why brown bottles protect against beer going bad

There is a reason beer is packaged in brown bottles.

If it isn’t, the quality of the beer goes down more quickly, according to one expert.

Jaime Schier, quality director at Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company, explained that brown glass is the best material to keep beer from getting ‘lightstruck’.

Today, beer drinkers can visit pretty much any brew-selling stores and choose from dozens of drink options.

But most of those options have on thing in common: they come in a brown bottle.

This is to keep them from becoming ‘lightstruck’, which is the term beer-manufacturers use to describe beer that has gone bad.

‘Like Gremlins, but more friendly, beer has several natural enemies, including time, temperature and light, which leads us to the brown bottle. Brown – as opposed to clear or green – bottles do the best job of blocking the part of the light spectrum that causes the formation of MBT from hop constituents,’ Schier told Real Simple.

More on this story here >>

  Filed under: Beer I.Q., Business of Beer, Products & Services
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