Why are beer bottles mostly green and brown in color?

Beer bottles and their colour

Rambling through the world of drinks we are often posed with startling questions. Your mind wanders away and you are forced to think, “why?” After all we don’t really give the mundane things much thought. Just go on with the flow, moving about in perfect bliss. In the event of a night out, when you drink gazillion beers to get drunk and pass-out, have you stopped to look at your nice little bottle of pint? What colour is it? Green, brown, or the occasional white (read Corona)? Why is beer always packaged in these bottles you ask? Well, we are here to enlighten you on the same.

The beer story

Beer dates back to the 9000 BC and has ever since been the source of much pleasure. As you can imagine those ancient people were far from enjoying refrigerators and coolers, and hence had trouble keeping their beers cold. Honestly, that must have been quite a task.

So the ancient folks just drank their beers right after brewing, never understanding the satisfaction of having a “cold one”

Then came the advent of beer bottles around 1850, and rest is history. But prior to that people would at times carry beer in wine bottles when they were going someplace. They say the first to do this was a monk. This holy man (god bless him) forgot about the beer in the wine bottle and later realised how cool and refreshing his beer was! He realised that this form of beer packaging was the best as the beer tasted delicious.

Beer bottles and their colour

The general idea here is to preserve this delicious drink and prevent light because otherwise it would turn weird. And no one likes a weird drink now. Your beer could smell bad if exposed to light for a long time and all the fun of drinking a cold one would disappear into the air.

So when light enters your beer bottle it breaks down the acid in the hops and this reacts with the already present sulphur, making the beer taste horrible. Brown bottles were hence used to prevent light, and at times bottles are also coated with UV protection for a better security.

After World War II there was a shortage of brown bottles and hence European manufacturers of beer began to use green bottles. Eventually these green bottles became a symbol of sophistication because most of these Euro beers were of extremely high quality. And so we got to the brown and green variants of a typical beer bottle.

But what about the clear and transparent bottles? Sure they do give you a great look because you can see right through to your delicious golden beverage waiting to be consumed. But doesn’t it get spoilt from the UV rays? Well, these beers are generally low in hops and so the whole chemistry between sunlight and the hops do not take place. Thereby letting your beer remain the elixir of life.

So now that you know the reason for the colour of your beer bottles, to be the wise guy and show off. Don’t forget to mention, “I drink, and I know things.”


News Reporter

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