Cinco de Mayo is a great day to enjoy some beers. Its May 5th and everyone is celebrating with tacos, beers & tequila. What could be better? By the way, it is not Mexico’s Independence day. But those clear bottle light mexican lagers have one small problem, skunked beer. Yes, skunked beer such a disappointment, you can never know until it is too late.
So why does this terrible thing happen? It is not so much about the temperature of the beer, it is more about sunlight. The light bottles allow more sunlight through which in turn leads to a higher chance of the beer becoming skunked.
Choose cans, there are actually quite a few reasons to choose cans. Better for the environment. They are lighter and take up less space than bottles. You can stack cans of beer, try that with bottles. Best of all, no sunlight gets in to skunk you beer!
Skunked beer is a name that is particularly relevant. Beer contracts its bitterness and a lot of its taste from hops, one of the main components needed to make the delicious beverage. When brewers are cooking the wort, hops is added for preservatives and for flavor.
But if beer is exposed to sunlight, the sun’s power breaks down those iso-alpha acids from hops. The resulting compounds bind with proteins that contain sulfur. This creates a new biochemical — one that’s extremely similar in chemical structure to the one used by skunks. It’s incredibly powerful in scent and taste too. Hence the name skunked beer.
People can taste this chemical at one part per billion. To put this in perspective, if you filled an Olympic-sized swimming pool with beer, one eyedropper of this stuff would change the way it tasted. I will take their word for it, I will not test this myself.
So treat your beer properly, keep it cool and out of sunlight. If you end up with skunked beer, you can drink it, but we recommend grabbing new beer.