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I'm worried that getting clear growlers will let the light in and make my beer skunky. Am I being ridiculous, or are amber growlers more protective of the growler contents?

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20 answers

57

Amber growlers are more protective of their contents than clear glass growlers.  Chemists at the University of North Carolina and Ghent University in Belgium found that sunlight breaks down alpha acids in hops that react with sulfur to make a chemical that is nearly identical to the smelly chemical that skunks spray.  Beers with less hops are less susceptible to "skunking", but beer will remain more fresh in an amber or brown glass regardless of its hop content.
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2

Another added benefit of brown glass is the fact that it hides some of the spooge that sits on the bottom of the growler if you are not filtering your beer. Even though it's only yeast, it's not very attractive to a filtered beer drinker. Be sure to take a good look in there before you refill also, hold the bottom of the growler up to a light after sanitizing and look in through the top. 
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1

Amber is optimal.
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1

Light will negatively effect beer in about 5 minutes if left in direct sunlight. Your server should be making this point if your selling flint/clear growlers. The only down side to any amber or stainless container, that is refilled(filled multiple times), is that you decrease the ability to visually inspect the container for any contamination. Clear growlers do allow for a better visual inspection.  In Craft Beer it is very important that we make every craft experience a great experience.  MAKE SURE TO VISUALLY CHECK AND IF CONTAMINATE IS FOUND REFUSE TO FILL, IF IT IS CLEAN, THEN RINSE ALL GROWLERS BEFORE REFILLING.   
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1

Amber growlers can cost a few pennies more than clear, but the benefits far outweigh the cost.
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0

Amber is the best! Better to be safe than sorry!! 
No one like to have to pour beer out.  
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0

Research shows that Amber is optimal.
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0

Clear growlers will not offer any protection for your beverages and very hoppy beers will skunk quickly.
Amber and ceramic growlers provide UV protection therefore are also a bit more expensive.
The extra cost is definitely worth it.
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0

Amber growlers are the ideal for protecting your beer from skunking. Your beer is likely to go bad if it sits in the sun or is exposed to UV rays in a clear growler.
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0

If you leave out in the sun to long but it's only 64oz (4 pint) you will probably finish it before that happens just get a good cap
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0

Not in the 2 days it might take you to drink your beer.  Any longer than that and the cap has already failed you. 
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0

Most amber colored bottles provide UV protection, and light filtration therefore protecting your beer and allowing it to last longer. 
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0

Ceramic growlers do not let any light in thus protecting your beer 100%.
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0

Stainless is by far the best option as it does not allow any light in.  While better then clear amber growlers can still let light in.

- Shawn.
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0

Amber Growlers are used to protect the beer from sunlight, which will negatively effect the beer and create a "skunky" smell/taste. Therefore, Amber Growlers are ideal in helping maintain the beers freshness and character.

Cheers,

Stacee Elliott
Zenan USA
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0

Light does start to damage beer when exposed to direct sunlight.   Keep your clear growler in a growler tote or a growler koozie.   Clear growlers also allow for better inspection for contamination.  Amber growlers offer more light protection but are harder to inspect.  Stainless offers the best protection and you must visually inspect from the opening.
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0

Most people only use amber growlers for beer.  We sell far more amber than flint, and the cost is less for an amber growler because the demand is higher.
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0

I would just consider how fast your customers plan on drinking the beer. We pour beer in a pint. We buy beer in amber bottles and clear bottles. A 64oz Glass growler is 4 pints of beer. Most folks will probably consume that within 24-48 hours. Amber is definitely more protective than clear when you get down to it, but most growler stations and breweries suggest consuming the contents within a certain period of time, regardless.
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0

When light sensitive isohumulones found in hops are attached by either visible or ultraviolet light,they break down to make reactive intermediates as free radicals that lead to the offensive taste and skunky odor. Great reason why amber growlers should be used.
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0

Light can damage beer instantly. 
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