I've long been a fan of the fine beers produced by Samuel Smith's in Tadcaster, England, near York. One my visits to the UK I've enjoyed many a cask ale from this brewery, drawn on handpump and more often than not consumed in one of the many fine pubs also owned by this brewer. At home in the US I always look forward to each seasons' Winter Welcome with its new label. In fact there's some '06-'07 in my beer fridge now. The biggest problem with Sam Smith's has always been those clear bottles which cause beers that have been on the beer store shelves for any period of time to become "skunky," caused by the exposure of the beer to ultraviolet light. For this reason I often forgo buying these beers unless I know they've recently arrived at the store.
Now, Stephen Beaumont reports that Sam Smith's has started shipping its beers in brown glass! I haven't seen any in the Asheville area yet but these reportedly have the same look as the old bottles except for the color. This is great news and should address the long-standing shelf life issues. Hopefully other British brewers will take note and begin a mass migration away from clear glass. Wychewood, are you out there?