You’ve probably noticed the Sam Adams advertising campaign touting the fact their brown glass bottles protect the flavor of their beer better than green or clear bottles. I haven’t paid too much attention because this “fact” has been assumed for quite some time. (And apparently demonstrated through prior scientific studies, though I haven’t seen them.) Even better, cans win out for eliminating all light intrusion.
How sunlight affects beer and whether brown glass does indeed help is the subject of this article from The Straight Dope. Turns out, sunlight reacts with hop-derived compounds, creating “a variety of unpleasant-smelling and -tasting chemicals, the biggie being 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, or MBT.” Whoa! Superbad flashbacks to college chemistry class there.
Does brown glass help better than green or clear? Read the article and find out.