Crown cap liners for beer

A question. Why is it that the beer industry is happy to use crown caps with PVC liners for bottled beers?

These PVC liners allow a high level of oxygen transmission. This reduces the shelf-life of the beer, and also means that the same beer is experienced differently by consumers depending on when it is drunk.

Beer is sensitive to oxygen, and the procedures for bottling beer are much more stringent than those for wine in terms of oxygen pick-up.

It makes no sense that beer is therefore bottled with these high oxygen transmission liners. In the Champagne region, crown cap liners are available with different levels of oxygen transmission, and these are chosen according to how long the chef du cave is intending to leave the wine.

I’m surprised that no one has addressed this issue.

2 comments to Crown cap liners for beer

  • Martin James

    Really interesting topic Jamie. I also believe that in the EU zone it is not permitted to use PVC for alcohols of greater the 9% because of fears relating to the carcinogenicity of vinyl chlorides – not sure exactly on the wording of this. Either way, with your concerns and this also it makes you wonder why they continue to be made at all. Surely the cost of the liner isn’t that significant?

  • Most of the European beer industry now uses pvc free crowns for bottling. The addition of oxygen barrier or scavenger in the liner can also help reduce the risk of both internal and external gases affecting the flavour and shelf life of the beer (www.pelliconi.com)

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