Craft brewers turned to brown bottles to distinguish their products from green-bottled foreign imports (Heineken, Grolsch) and mass-market lagers. However, bottle caps do not always seal properly, letting carbonation and beer leak out, and a fresh taste with them. But no matter the color, every bottle lets in some ultraviolet (UV) light, which will cause beer to skunk. (When hops are boiled, they release isohumulones; when exposed to UV rays, they form the same chemical compounds found in skunk spray.) To ensure your beer stays fresh, never store bottles near sunlight. And of course, keep an eye on the bottling date: Most beers have a shelf life of just three to six months.
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