Posts Tagged ‘skunked beer’

12 Beers of X-Mas: St. Peter’s Winter Ale

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

St Peters Winter AleSt. Peter’s Brewery located in The Saints, Suffolk, brews a number of good beers but doesn’t have the sense to put them in bottles that respect them. Respect Beer. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea. See, their bottles are recreations of an eighteenth century one found near Philadelphia. Or, at least they used to be. Now the export bottles are a round version of it. The problem is that the glass is a very transparent green tint, which allows in unreasonable amounts of ultraviolet light. UV light facilitates a reaction between the riboflavin provided by the yeast and the bittering compounds of the hops that produces a very particular flavor compound. It is this compound that is the characteristic flavor and aroma of every green and clear glass beer, such as Heineken, Corona, and Tsing Tao. It is that import flavor known technically as skunking. All beer will develop this outside on a bright day if you’re not careful (give it a try, it’s fun. get something hoppy but cheap). I’ve heard from an inside source that one brewing company (I won’t name names…) has gone so far as to build a room in their packaging operations that exposes the beer to a measured amount of ultraviolet light to make sure kegs (which never see day) and anything else that doesn’t get much light will still have the proper amount of that skunky goodness.

Winter Ale pours a very dark mahogany that is almost black. The head is creamy and khaki. The nose is roast and skunky. Roast and caramel malts fight to be noticed behind the intrusive off-flavor. It is a little sweet, and I notice a bit of a spiciness. The flavor is strongly bitter at front, with a lingering sweetness. Roast malt tastes of coffee. There is a bit of noble hop herbal flavor as well as the omnipresent skunk. Very cloying.

-St. Peter’s Winter Ale

2.9 (3-6-6-2-12)