Debate of whether beer tastes better from cans or bottles cracked by boffins2 min read
An attempt by boffins to solve the age-old debate of whether beer tastes better from cans or bottles found glass containers are superior.
Researchers spent months keeping canned and bottled brews under strictly monitored conditions and concluded that certain ales stay fresher in glass.
The joint study by Colorado State University and New Belgium Brewing Company found amber ale remained more palatable in bottles but IPA prevailed in either container.
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A team kept the tipples chilled for a month then stored them at room temperature for five months to mimic typical storage conditions.
Beer contains thousands of flavour compounds, known as metabolites, produced by yeast, hops and other ingredients.
During storage, chemical reactions break down some of these components, while others are formed.
This can affect an ale’s flavours and even introduce unappetising ones that make the beer taste stale.
Amber beer fared worse in cans but IPA’s higher hop content helped keep it stable in either container.
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Previous studies involving lager proved inconclusive but its moderate level of hops may indicate pilsners react in a similar way to IPA.
The report, published in journal ACS Food Science & Technology, said: “The results of this study do not support the conclusion of a general best package for all beer styles but rather indicate that the effects of package type are dependent on beer style.
“Continued work to define the mechanisms driving the effects of package type on beer stability is warranted and would require integration with sensory outcomes.
“Ultimately, research on beer stability and packaging should provide relevant knowledge so brewers may make scientifically backed packaging decision and shelf life determinations.”
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