All the bottled beers hand packaged by the brewery are classified as "bottle conditioned," a term widely used in beer production to identify the method used to carbonate the beer. We don't want flat beer now do we!
Basically beer can be carbonated one of two ways. The first is called "forced carbonation", a process whereby a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is injected into the finished product until the desired level of carbonation is reached. This method is often used by large commercial breweries with the inclusion of additional filtering and pasteurisation processes.
The second way is “bottle conditioning,” which is a secondary fermentation in the bottle, often by the addition of new sugars or even extra yeast to encourage more fermentation. This natural method of carbonation leads to a much deeper character and flavour, and a softer carbonation. The layer of sediment usually residing at the bottom of the bottle is yeast, there is nothing to fear: in fact, it features many health benefits. It 's a rich source of B-complex vitamins, protein, and minerals such as chromium.
To make sure you enjoy your bottled beer, we recommend the following steps:
- Always store and transport your bottles upright, with the cap facing up.
- Store bottles in a cool place away from direct sunlight. 12c is the optimum temperature for storing and serving.
- If you are one of the new craft beer lovers who is not scared by a hazy glass of beer, then please pour away and enjoy, no special care required.
- If you prefer clear beer then please allow the sediment to settle before serving if it is visibly ‘floating’ or has caused an otherwise clear beer to become cloudy.
Pour your beer gently into a glass, not allowing it to ‘glug’ out otherwise the yeast sediment in the bottle will become disturbed.
It is a legal requirement that our bottled beers have a Best Before date on them, but in reality the bottle conditioning process will lengthen the life of the beer and the flavour will mature with age.
more interesting reading on CAMRA's website - Real Ale in a Bottle