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Glass vs Plastic bottles for long term beer storage

It's commonly held that for long term storage of our 'big' beers, we need to use glass rather than plastic. But is it true?

I have in front of me two bottles of Dubbel beer, same batch, each one year old - one glass, one plastic.

Let's open them both.

Visually the difference is clear, with the plastic bottled beer showing the characteristic darkening of an oxidised beer.

The glass bottled beer retained the characteristic 'nose' of a dubbel, whilst the plastic bottled version was lacking in aroma.

In terms of flavour, the glass bottled beer is OK, with some abbey character, but perhaps past it's best.....but the plastic bottled variant is both bland, hot and sherry-like.

In summary, I intend to finish the glass-bottled beer. The plastic bottled beer is drain-pour.

TL/DR: Use glass for anything intended for more than a couple of months.

Author: Martin Haworth

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