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German imports in green bottles

Every year at the local Oktoberfest I drink a few too many Hofbrau Originals. It’s the “house” beer of the festival and its flowing from the taps all weekend long. I build such an appreciation for the beer over that weekend that my excitement builds when I come up with the idea of picking up a 6 at the local craft brew store last week. Crack the first one open when I get home and it smells like a skunk sprayed in my kitchen.

Why do quality German beers continue to put their beers in green bottles? There aren’t many places around that I can get a good helles on tap so I have to resort to imported beers that never even stood a chance to meet the quality I expect.

Very disappointing.

Whats amazing is some loyal Heineken drinkers actually find it to be a flaw when the skunk character is NOT present! I think Heineken is a great beer out of the can or on draft, but I run don’t walk to the nearest other beer when I see it in bottles.

As for ze Germans, I stick to Warsteiner cans and Radeberger cans for the very reasons you are describing. Or better yet, just brew one-

Funny you mention that. I got 55lb sack of Best Malz Pilsen coming to house in the few days. I am thinking my next brew will either be a Munich Helles or German Pilsner.

The only beer I buy that is in green bottles is Pilsner Urquell. I won’t buy it though unless it is completely enclosed in the case. Won’t even buy it if the finger holes have been punched open. Hard to understand why most beer coolers still have unshielded fluorescent lights.

[quote=“mattnaik”].
Why do quality German beers continue to put their beers in green bottles?[/quote]

Perhaps the sun never shines in Germany, so the brewers are unaware of the problem.

I just got back from a trip to Germany, and I don’t think I saw any beers in green bottles while I was there. Maybe they just use the cheaper glass for exports to Americans who they don’t think can tell the difference?

Forgot the details, but one of the big Danish brewers (Carlsberg?) invented a process some years ago where they modify the chemistry of the hop acids to prevent the skunking reaction. I would have thought that by now all the big breweries would have adopted the practice.

The green bottles are a status symbol. They are a sign of quality. Of course we know this is false. I have not been to Europe in many years, but I think they use brown bottles there except for Belgian’s in Champagne bottles. Even Budweiser put their export style beer in green bottles in the 1990s or early 2000s. I can’t remember the name of it, but I did not buy it because it was in green bottles. These days I don’t buy anything in a green bottle unless I can buy it before it goes into the cooler or on the shelf. Every now and then if something is new, I will pull a bottle from the back of a dark shelf.

I think some of the brewers are starting to get the message. I have seen and purchased special edition, dry hopped versions of Saison Dupont and Poppering’s Hommel Bier in brown champagne bottles. I also purchase Pilsener Urquell in cans. It is probably best for my bank account that these beers stay in green bottles.

If it helps, if you can find the six packs still in the box they shipped in, they won’t be skunked. They skunk on the shelves, not while being shipped. I’ve bought a few six packs of Hofbrau that were REALY good. They were right out of the box.

Does the fluorescent lights in most retail spaces also accelerate (as opposed to incandescent bulbs that most of us have in our houses)?

I often ask for a 6 pack that is still in the box, but most of the time, the stockers put everything out on the shelves. Every now and then I get lucky though. I bought some Hofbrau Mai Bock and a Belgian Blond off of a dark shelf where the lights were probably 15-20 feet above the floor and the beer was okay. I knew they had not been there long though.

My brother inlaw keeps asking me to brew him a green bottle beer. It is amazing how many people love these beers despite being skunky. I haven’t drank anything from a green bottle in years.

[quote=“Pietro”]Whats amazing is some loyal Heineken drinkers actually find it to be a flaw when the skunk character is NOT present! I think Heineken is a great beer out of the can or on draft, but I run don’t walk to the nearest other beer when I see it in bottles.

As for ze Germans, I stick to Warsteiner cans and Radeberger cans for the very reasons you are describing. Or better yet, just brew one-[/quote]

I’ll see your Heinekin and raise you Stella Artois. I remember thinking it was good when I was new to brewing. Had it a few years later and after becoming a homebrewer. I found it odd that such a popular beer was dominated by off flavors.

I actually use green bottles with saisons to get a certain funk characteristic. Worked extremely well with Wyeast’s Belgian saison strain and the French saison strain. So-so with the Belle Saison strain.

As for good European lagers, I’ve found there are American makers here n’ there. My go-to tends to be Moretti.

I tried Stella even before I really started liking craft beers, but I did favor reds and browns at the time. Can’t believe people love it and say nothing can be better. Speaking of green bottles I saw a Youtube video earlier today where somebody was intentionally using green bottles for their homebrew sent shivers down my spine thinking of tasting it.

If you keep green bottles in the dark, they are fine. I have about 3 cases of green 750’s that stay in the cellar in wine cases and age just fine with no skunk.

Stella IS a great beer! I think its awesome on draft, but most bottles I’ve had are vile. I did have a funny story of a co-worker saying “Man Belgian beers are awesome…I don’t think I’ve ever had anything better than Stella in my life!”

Have to disagree on Moretti, that stuff tastes like rotten meat to me (though it may also be a packaging/age/shelf stability issue, as I had one on draft in Florence and it was great).

What funk characteristic do you get from green bottles? Is it actually the 3-MBT/skunk? I like saisons with a little funk, but not with skunk…

Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who:
1)…has not really had too many problems with green bottles (provided they have been treated right). I use them often for my homebrews as well.
2)…thinks ‘Stella’ is a decent beer. It gets a lot of prejudiced reviews because it is a mass market product. It may not be to everyone’s taste (especially those who need every beer to be an over-the-top hop and ethanol bomb)…But it’s actually a pretty decent tasting European light lager considering that it admittedly a mass-produced product.
And yes…on draft it is particularly good, and an excellent ‘fallback’ choice if the draft pickings are slim in a given restaurant or bar.

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