Bottle conditioning is a method of naturally carbonating beer. Adding sugar and yeast to beer that is ready to be bottled will create carbonation, foster longer shelf stability, and develop more complex, mature flavors.
Bottle conditioning is the traditional method of creating carbonation naturally by adding a small amount of sugar and using the naturally produced carbon dioxide to carbonate the beer.
In most cases, breweries will indicate on the packaging if the beer is bottle conditioned. They want their customers to know what to expect when buying their beer.
Mostly craft breweries will bottle condition beer rather than the giant producers, like Budweiser or Corona. Craft breweries are more likely to experiment with seasonal beers and limited runs because of their smaller size.
Bottle conditioned beer does typically have more complex, mature flavors, finer bubbles, and a more stable head than what you may typically drink, which can be a fun departure from the norm.
Bottle conditioned beer retains some health benefits from the yeast that is trapped in the bottle, including B vitamins and minerals. It can also be a good source of protein.
Bottle conditioned beers are rich in probiotics, which are reportedly critical to gut health and a healthy immune system.
You can either pour bottle-conditioned beer into a glass or drink it directly out of the bottle, whichever you prefer.
You can drink bottle-conditioned beer directly from the bottle. You can tilt it back like any other beer or give the bottle a gentle swirl after opening in order to integrate the yeast with the rest of the beer.