All beer bottles are not created equal. When we think of beer, most of us agree that brown is the classic bottle colour. There is good reason for this, because brown, or “amber” really is the best for protecting your suds from ultraviolet light, the main culprit for causing beer to taste “skunky”. Everyone has had one of those, but chances are good that the offending brew did not come from a brown bottle.
Brown glass has the UV filtering power of 95 per cent, as opposed to green at 54. The “clear” loser measures in at a paltry ten per cent!
It seems the only advantages of clear bottles is that they look great, and you are able to appreciate the clarity of the beer when you are drinking it straight from the bottle. The only other bonus that I could think of is that it’s a lot easier for a serving person to see from a distance if you are almost ready for another.
Most Mexican beers are in clear bottles, which is okay because this style of beer contains little or no hops, the component in beer that is most adversely affected by UV light.
Green came into vogue the late 1940s, when European beers were considered “really good stuff”, and were shipped overseas in green bottles, therefore anything in green was considered a sign of a superior product. Eventually some North American beer marketing geniuses jumped on the green bandwagon and began packaging their beer similarly, in hopes that people would think it was of higher quality than a quaff from the lowly brown stubby.. I also remember reading that because of the second world war there was a shortage of the chemicals used to make brown glass, but I haven’t found anything to qualify that as fact.
All things considered, when it comes to the protection of precious brew, your best bet is to go for “a few brown ones”.