Monday 23 March 2009

Biere des Moulins or Beer in a Plastic Bottle

vBlog number 4 done. Just a quickie this time as I check out Biere des Moulins, or as the title will tell you, it’s a ‘Beer in a Plastic Bottle’. Ridiculous, I know. Anyway, you can check out my youtube channel here. There’s a load of other good youtube beer guys out there so give them a look too.

When I saw the curious green bottle in the booze section I just had to buy it and try it. I’d never seen beer in a plastic bottle with screw top before. Beer lives in casks, kegs, barrels, bottles, glasses and cans. Plastic bottles are the realm of fizzy pop and cheap cider.

But why isn’t beer stored and sold in plastic bottles? History, I guess, is the first answer – beer bottles have always been made of glass. And it’s the brown glass bottles which do better than green or clear bottles because it restricts certain light photochemistry from occurring and funking up the beer. Plastic suggests cheap and throw-away and it just doesn’t feel right in your drinking hand - the weight and solid grip of the glass bottle is so much more comfortable. And the plastic screw top, don’t even get me started on that one, it was like opening a bottle of Sprite. Literally. Maybe it’s environmentally better? No… I’m pretty certain that glass wins that one too. So why bother with plastic? Maybe it’s a question of price…

On to the beer then, the important stuff. I didn’t expect much from it, which was good because I didn’t get much. The bottle had a slight amount of ‘give’ to it before it was opened which suggested a lack of carbonation. It cost 99p for 500ml which tells me it isn’t out to challenge the premium beer crowd. It has a poncy French name and describes itself as a Continental Lager, and then it suggests that it’s good with light meats (light meat? WTF’s that?). It’s made by InBev, by the way. And the taste? Well, it’s like a 3.8% lager, bland and uninspiring, a bit insipid, slightly eggy and metallic with a faint biscuity base and hops which you can almost miss. It’s fine, I guess, if you drink that kind of thing. I didn’t finish the bottle and I won’t buy another one except for novelty value or to enter as a dud on a beer night. Still, it was an interesting little taster.

Anyone know of any other plastic bottles of beer and are they any good?

And why the bath I hear you say? Well, I thought I’d open it in there because I wanted new places to shoot videos. Plus there was some hope that it might inspire me (I get a lot of good ideas in the shower…). I wasn’t inspired this time but maybe I’ll try again some day. Maybe not. At least the lighting is good thanks to the gorgeous sunny day, the perfect kind of day for a lovely, chilled bottle of Biere des… Don’t even go there.


  1. Staropramen is sold in 600ml plastic bottles here, and it still tastes pants.

  2. The only time I have seen beer in plastic bottles is at sports matches in a stadium. I think they have Carling and Old Speckled Hen at Twickenham as they only have Guinness and Tetleys on draught. Needless to say I have never bought plastic bottled beer.

    In French supermarkets I have seen the odd super cheap bottle of red wine in a clear plastic Evian style bottle. Again I have never felt the urge to buy any!

  3. Ah, Pete, now you say that a load of memories come back to me of plastic beer bottles! I used to work at (the mighty!) Gillingham FC in a few bars, when I worked in the outside bars they had Carlsberg in plastic bottles with ring pull lids! Crazy times!

    What's worse: ring pull lids or plastic coke-style screw tops?!

  4. I've seen several brown plastic bottles of Baltika with screw-tops here in the US. Oddly enough, they seem specially crafted, with ridges all around the bottle in a strange pattern making it almost look like condensation.

    In their defense, they do make a decent beer here and there, but I've never built up the courage to buy one of the plastic bottle versions. Maybe I'd enjoy the others if I drank them straight from the container instead.

  5. There are a lot of plastic bottled beer options here in the US. Most are from the mega-brewers (Miller Lite, Busch, etc.)and are really lite and thin flavored. I actually do drink them from time to time, usually when it's really hot and humid and I've been sweating buckets mowing the grass in the yard. I call them "lawnmower beers".

  6. Ha ha ha! Loved it. Love the location. Hmm, plastic bottle eh? Classy. 'Have it chilled on its own or with light meat' - I think they are being a bit ambitious putting suggested matches on the back at all to be honest! Ah, perhaps I am being a bit harsh.

  7. Hi E.S. and Mark, it seems there are more plastic bottles in the US than the UK. They certainly qualify as lawnmower beers, something to slake your thirst on a hot day - I don't think they are there to be critiqued by beer lovers.

    Hey Helen. It sure is a classy beer, check it out if you are in Sainsburys! And I agree, a food pairing is very ambitious on this bottle! The best advice was to serve it chilled, that way all the (almost non-existant) flavour is masked by the cold temperature :)

  8. You used to be able to get cheapo supermarket beer in two litre plastic bottles, I don't know if you still can.

    It's not good for the beer anyway as the plastic is slightly permeable to oxygen so the beer will go off quicker than in glass or can.

  9. Ed, cheers for that, I suspected that the beer might not last as long in the plastic as it would in the glass.

    And two litre bottles of beer in plastic bottles?! I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!

  10. I love how the beer matches the tiles. I think the lighting in the bathroom is really good for DIY documentation. A wise choice.

    Would the plastic transfer some off flavors? I'm just thinking how my cat loves to chew plastic things because to him they probably smell like fish or, uh, "light meat."