Ratings Disclaimer and Notes


If these descriptions seem repetitive after a while, please realize I'm an amateur, and don't know all the technical terms. On the other hand, I know what I like.

Notes on glass color and skunking

Beer is best shipped in brown bottles (unless you can get it hand-drawn at a tap). Brown glass is the best protection from ultraviolet light. UV can cause chemical reactions in a finished beer and leave an odor of skunk, making the beer undrinkable (or at least very unpleasant to drink). Green and clear glass offer less protection against UV, with a correspondingly higher risk of skunking. Most brewers ship their beer in brown glass. I've noted the glass color in all rated beers not shipped in brown glass. On February 28, 2007, The Washington Post ran an article with a good summary of the chemical processes involved in how beer gets skunked by exposure to light.

However, you'll notice that Red Stripe Lager Beer was noted as skunked but in brown glass. I believe that excess exposure to heat (which, presumably, the Jamaican-brewed Red Stripe could be) can also cause skunking. Brown glass isn't necessarily a guarantee. It just puts the odds more in your favor.

In any case, you needn't overly concern yourself with skunked beer. I've only come across two such (Red Stripe and Samuel Smith's Pure Brewed Lager Beer), and the Samuel Smith's faint skunky odor didn't keep it from a very high rating.

mjbauer (at) mit (dot) edu