The term “skunked” refers to the taste of a beer when something tastes off or skunky. This weird taste is the result of the beer being exposed to light, which then causing a chemical reaction known as oxidation.
This term is aptly named because the chemical that causes that skunky taste is identical to the one skunks release. It’s a result of the sun break down acids in the beer, binding them with proteins that contain sulfur.
The reason why most beers come in darker brown bottles as opposed to clear or even green, is because this reduces the amount of light that reaches the beer. This limits the chances of the beer quickly becoming skunked. Even cans and kegs are provide better protection against the UV rays from the sun.
This process happens quicker with hoppier beers, like IPAs. This process can happen quick enough in a few minutes to noticeably change the flavor of the beer. Beers are never “supposed” to taste skunky. But because this turning process can happen so quickly, many people assume light beers served in clear bottles, like Corona, are supposed to taste skunky. This is not the case and perhaps you should try other beers.
Never expose your beer to sunlight. Don’t pour your beer into a clear glass stein if you are drinking it outside. Show some respect to your beer.
Thank you for visiting the Hitmaker Brewing blog, an Austin craft brewery. If you want to try one of our (not skunky) beers, check out our locations on our website.