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Types of Beer Bottles

Long Neck

This is the standard 12 fl oz (350 mL) bottle.

Heritage

This is a 12 fl oz (350 mL) bottle.

Stubbie

This is a 12 fl oz (350 mL) bottle.

Bottle Materials

Most beer bottles are molded out of soda-lime glass. Some beer bottles may also be made out of ceramic (clay) with glazing on the outside.

Bottle Colors

Glass beer bottles are commonly brown, clear, or green. Brown glass has the best defense against ultra-violet radiation, which causes beer to age too fast.

Beer Bottle Closures

The mouth of beer bottles are commonly closed by caps, swivel tops, and Belgian corks.

Caps

Caps are made of steel and are usually pry off with bottle openers. Twist off caps were invented later.

Swivel tops

Belgian Corks

Belgian corks are usually seen on 750 mL bottles of specialty beer. They are used for bottling highly carbonated beer styles, which have higher internal pressure. Modern Belgian corks are covered by a muselet, or a hooded wire, which was originally invented in 1844. The muselet prevents the cork from disengaging.

Belgian corks and muselets can be used only with certain bottles, which have a special type of neck and rim. These bottles also have thicker glass than normal, supporting the precautions of storing highly carbonated beer styles.

Under normal circumstances, a Belgian cork won't disengage sans muselet, however there are two scenarios that can cause the cork to shoot out. The first is if the bottle is in a low ambient pressure, such as at high elevations or before big storms. This causes a higher pressure difference - high inside the bottle, low outside the bottle - which makes eruptions more likely. The second scenario is heavy shaking of the bottle during shipping or handling. This excites the carbonation molecules, causing them to undissolve and try to expand. The muselet ensures even these scenarios do not sacrifice a bottle of beer.

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