A wise man once wrote “There is one thing that I fear, that you will make me drink green beer.” While that quote is obviously true, I would suggest one small modification. My fear is the Green BOTTLED beer.
The question must be asked “why does a beer bottle need to be any color?” Excellent question, I’m glad you asked. The answer lies with the sun. Sunlight is extremely harmful to beer. If prolonged contact occurs, the beer becomes “Lightstruck.” The ultraviolet rays break down the isohumulones (a certain hop progeny) in the beer and modify the molecule to 3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol. This new, “lightstruck” result is actually very similar to the odoriferous chemical found in a skunk’s scent mechanism. The result, is “skunked” beer. So, that smell of light-struck beer doesn’t just resemble skunk spray, it actually is skunk spray. (Still enjoying that Heineken?)
Some beers, such as the delicious Miller High Life use a hop extract that does not contain isohumulones. Therefore, they are free to use a clear bottle. But for the vast majority of beer, light or green bottles equals gross, skunky beer.
This has lead to one of my rules to live by. DON’T BUY BEER IN GREEN BOTTLES!!! I have modified this slightly to include the caveat: ESPECIALLY IF THE BEER WAS MADE IN EUROPE!!! The second part of this rule is due to the fact that European beers must travel great distances to reach the West End and are therefore more susceptible to light exposure.
So, with the exception of Grolsch, I tend to stay away from green bottled beers like Heineken, Beck’s, St. Pauli Girl and even Rolling Rock. I strongly suggest you do the same.