Friday, October 3, 2008

Green Bottle Hell - The Sweet Smell of Skunk

It's hard for me to understand why some companies still use green bottles. If you've ever drank Heineken, you might have noticed the skunky smell that accompanies this. I was at a party a few months ago where the host had two of those little kegs of Heineken, and a guest poured himself a glass and said, "Hey, this doesn't taste like Heineken, it tastes...good." I asked him if the skunkiness was missing, and he said that it was. I then told him, "It's because it's not in its usual green bottle."

Doing about 5 minutes of research on the interwebs, I found that really, there seems to be only two reasons that companies use green bottles: First, it is all about marketing the product. Yep, nevermind that the beer has that skunky effect, it looks good in green. Second, the company may actually be going for that effect, as some people actually like the skunk. For those people I ask, "Where were you when the skunk fell into my window well last spring?"

The best information I got was from, of all places, a Yahoo! Answers post answering the question, "Do green bottles really make beer skunky?":

Not the green bolttes but UV light. Brown bottles do the best at filtering out the UV light. Heineken beer was once known for this defect and built its world reputation on peoples' ignorance of it. Many people thought the "skunkiness" as normal and a quality beer aroma and flavor...

Lots of really decent information in that whole answer.

I'm not really a fan, honestly, of most beers in green bottles, but there are a few pilsners that I think I would enjoy a whole lot more if they were only in brown bottles. Jever, Czechvar (Budvar), and Pilsner Urquell taste so much cleaner from the tap.

As far as Rolling Rock, Heineken, Stella Artois, and Beck's go, they can keep them in the green bottles, since I don't drink buy those. I saw a Beck's commercial during a Monday Night Football game giving examples of things that said "no" then it came to "Beck's - The beer that said no to compromise" or something like that. What a sham. You compromised your beer with a green bottle!

10 comments:

simon333 said...

I am one of those guys, who likes the skunk.. In fact, I miss it when it's not there..
My favorite beers, are, Becks, Groulsch, Heineken, and Stella. They are all green bottles, and same style of brew, and all have a slight skunk to them.. I will say, I don't buy, opened 6 packs, as they get too skunky. I buy the 12 packs, in boxes..
I don't like Hieneken in a can, or keg, or on tap.. Because I like the skunk.

tricia said...

I am also one of those that loves the skunky smell/taste. It's awesome. I like the skunky stuff--call me crazy. Cheers!

tricia said...

I like the skunky taste/smell. I think it's awesome! It's is the only beer I drink. Cheers!

johnE said...

I love the the cannabis skunk aroma and taste!!

mGos said...

I too love the spunkiness of the beer and found this blog looking for a 5 gallon green carboy in order to preserve the effect on tap. Don't bash companies just because you don't like their product, just be a little openminded and realize there are billions of people in the world.

Jez said...

I guess there are some people who like the taste of spoiled milk, too. Eh, whatever. If that's what you like, fine. If you like pungent smells/tastes, you should maybe go try some IPAs.

If you like it, fine. Just know that you like it because it's flawed.

Sean H said...

Beeristocrats describe skunkiness as a flaw rather than a characteristic, yet many of the other flavors in beer are due to chemical processes that, if they were to occur in other drinks or meals, would certainly be seen as flaws!

I like heineken, but would certainly be interested to drink on-tap side by side with a lightstruck bottle to really nail down this taste and decide whether I like it or not.

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Kaishingou said...

The skunk reminds me too much of unfortunate high school party outcomes, ie. cleaning up concrete floors, puke and trash. Hate the skunk, love the IPA's.

Unknown said...

Skunk in pilsner Urquell green bottle along with jever should be cherished.