Here is another article that connects with this week’s Drink with us Friday. Have you purchase the Pomme Lambic that we are drinking? If you did, you might have noticed how thick the glass of the bottle is. Maybe you’ve purchased various beers throughout the weeks, months, or years and noticed some of those other bottles were thick as well.
Why is it that some beers come in those thicker bottles? Do the companies just like thick glass? Or is there something else? Go back in your mind and think about what types of beer you were drinking and consider what was peculiar about those wonderful liquids. Were any of them English or Belgian Ales? Did the bottles say “bottle conditioned”? It’s likely that many of them did.
Certain beers have additional yeast, sugars, or fruits added right before they are bottled. Given that there are still fermentable sugars and residual yeasts in any given beer, they can still be fermented to some degree. In an open vessel (i.e., not capped), carbon dioxide is allowed to escape, and fermentation continues. In a closed (capped bottle/vessel), carbon dioxide and pressure have nowhere else to go. For most beers the normal capped bottle is enough to contain the pressure associated with post bottle fermentation (and many many beers are pasteurized anyway, which kills any yeast that could further ferment the beer). But under the circumstances of bottle-conditioning, additional pressure is added to the bottle and its contents. Bottle design and glass thickness are meant to compensate for this phenomenon. So when you notice a thicker bottled beer, look for it to be conditioned in some way. Man, the beer world is interesting!