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"Born on" or "Best before"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Svendozen, Jan 15, 2013.

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  1. I was reading that "Finestkind" may be best before two months old. But Smuttynose uses a "Best before" date on their bottles, so how are supposed to tell how old it is? If it has a date of March 2013 today about how long ago would it have been bottled? I think I would prefer a "Born on" date myself...especially for an IPA.
    Beeradelphia and Stockfan42 like this.
  2. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (870) Michigan Mar 20, 2012

    Born on, definitely. The consumer should be able to decide for themselves what age is too old/young for drinking.
    chefkevlar, profbobo, CUE45 and 23 others like this.
  3. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Advocate (615) Massachusetts May 28, 2010 Beer Trader

    nuff said, bros lock the thread
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    It should be mandatory that all beers have a clearly marked, standard format (don't want to have to use a decodor ring to figure out the date), born on date.
  5. Just what is meant by "born on"? Not of course that beer is born but which point is used as the reference? It begins with the mash, then we have the boil and the fermentation.It then needs time before it's ready for sale, quite a lot of time if it's a properly made lager.
    I would suggest that the date it's put into the final container should be given.Easy to understand that way.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  6. smutty is 6 months out. under 4 it's good, under 2 it's great.

    If it's been in a cooler, I wouldn't worry 'bout it.
  7. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    If the date is a best before date, you need to check to see how many months the brewery thinks their beer will be at its best and subtract that number of months from the best before date. That gives you the bottled on date and you can then do you own calendar math.
  8. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (855) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    At what point is a beer "born?"
    lurchingbeast likes this.
  9. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    I would suggest that the date it's put into the final container should be given. Easy to understand that way.[/quote]

    Ummm. That's the bottled on date. I believe that born on and bottled on are one and the same but if I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me.
  10. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    It's the same, everyone knows the OP means bottled on when he says born on (I think born on is a Miller or Bud term). I just think people here like arguing for the sake of arguing.
  11. Yeah...I think "Born on"date was someone's catchphrase...maybe Budweiser or somebody.
  12. Not really. beer can be standing round in the brewery for some time before being packaged.
    You don't say a child is "born on" the day it leaves the maternity hospital :)
    vurt likes this.
  13. “I believe that born on and bottled on are one and the same ..” My understanding is the same as yours.

    The ‘invention’ of the terminology of “born on” is courtesy of Anheuser-Busch. The marketing by the BMC type breweries is quite something!?!

    Svendozen likes this.
  14. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (855) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    So, when you blend batches and bottle a gueuze, is the beer "born again?"
    RJM, MikeWard, jzeilinger and 11 others like this.
  15. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (730) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Beer Trader

    I figured. I was replying to a post by marquis.
  16. Brew33

    Brew33 Advocate (690) Ohio Oct 24, 2007 Beer Trader

    bottled on > born on > best before
    Pahn, Jaycase and fredmugs like this.
  17. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poobah (1,270) Indiana Aug 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    If you go to Bell's website they claim their beers (excepting Expedition and Old Coast) are good up to 6 months. If you don't already know that you may be led to believe a beer is "fresh" because of it's "best by" date when in fact it could be 5 1/2 months old.

    Bottled date leaves no room for interpretation.
  18. godlessape, drtth, fmccormi and 2 others like this.
  19. Just for kicks I just emailed Smuttynose to maybe get some answers.
  20. I still like Deschutes "best after" dates
    LSUPT and JoeyBeerBelly like this.
  21. At first I thought that you were kidding about the “best after” date but with some web searching I found:

    “While superb now, the Abyss is one of the stouts that benefits most from cellaring -- in fact, Deschutes prints a "Best After" date on each bottle dated a year after packaging. Over time, the harsher edges of the brew will soften, allowing old aromas and flavors to merge while new ones appear. You should be able to find bottles of Arizona shelves beginning this week, so buy a second bottle to try at this time next year, and see if you can find yourself in the abyss.”

    That is indeed cool!

    I have only had Abyss once (on draft) so I have never seen a bottle of it.


    P.S. Another beer that I think should have a one year "best after" date is Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. I just recently purchased two 4-packs of this beer and I will be aging them for at least one year. Brooklyn Black Cholocate Stout is just too boozy for me when it is fresh.
  22. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    I loathe 'best by' dates. They are useless. And beer should be required to have a clearly visible bottled on/born on/canned on date. Although then I'd find out that half the IPA's I drink were bottled 5 months ago and I'd have to pass on them
    chuckstout likes this.
  23. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    We use Best By (based on shelf life and the bottling data) on our products here and it doesn't give anyone any idea of when the product was actually packaged. So a product bottled today would have a Best Before date of 10/15/13. It is a PITA for us because it is more difficult to code trace the product. However, we had a lot more consumer confusion when we used to use bottled on dates (easy for us with the data and time stamp) - for our stuff, people who don't work here have absolutely no clue about shelf life.

    Either way has its flaws and I'm not sure which is better - both would be ideal, I reckon. Certainly anything is better than none (which seems to be the majority on beer).
  24. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    What confused customers about bottled on dates? Does your average customer even look at dates on beer bottles?
  25. "both would be ideal" That is the answer right there!

  26. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    Unfortunately, our product isn't beer.... The confusion is because consumers could see the bottled on date, but they had no context. So we'd get calls saying "I bought this bottle on..." wanting to know if is still good (safe, not spoiled, whatever) to consume. Customer doesn't know we have a nine month shelf life (which communication could resolve), but they assume we know what we're talking about when we say "best by" - they don't know when it was bottled, but they don't care, you know? It is arbitrary because the product is still perfectly safe to consume, but probably won't be at its "best" for various attributes when it is 12 or 14 months old. Not a safety issue - a quality issue and one label claim issue on Vitamin C - and when product is on shelf beyond best buy date we scurry through the system and find it all (well, most of it) to make sure it gets returned via the distributors.

    Milk, meats, poultry, and I think even eggs have best buy dates - if you put a packaged on date, nobody would have a clue whether it was good or not. Doubt that everybody knows the shelf life of all those kinds of products, and that gets into stuff that CAN make you sick or dead.

    Obviously beer is different, but before I started learning here on BA, I had no idea I wanted an IPA as fresh as I could get it and some stouts or big Belgians could hang around a bit. So to the average consumer the value of a bottled on date is questionable. I don't think we are average consumers here - we know just enough to be dangerous ;)
  27. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Savant (440) Texas Oct 17, 2012

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  28. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    Replying to Hanzo's question about consumer confusion with bottled on dates... Had to do work for a few minutes and missed the editing time window...

    Correction - that should say "I have this bottle that says it was made on..." the rest was pretty much ok...so consumers knew when it was made, but had no idea when the product was past prime.
  29. That's one of many reasons why I love Great Divide.
    It's so damn easy to find the bottling date.
    It's like, "yo dog, I'm right here".
    BMitch likes this.
  30. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Too bad I saw a few bottles of Fresh Hop Pale Ale at a liquor store last week that were bottled in August...it crushed me
  31. I see the same thing, but that's not Great Divide's fault.
    At least you get to make an informed decision.
  32. nogophers

    nogophers Savant (345) Minnesota Jun 28, 2011

    Born on/Bottled makes so much more sense than "best by". There are so many variables between bottling and drinking that will affect the quality and taste of a beer.
    godlessape likes this.
  33. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    That makes a good point, actually. If there was a "best buy" date, then would it be Great Divide's fault? It is for us...or at least that is how we treat it.
  34. cubbyswans

    cubbyswans Savant (425) Missouri Jun 10, 2008 Beer Trader

    Bells doesn't put a best by date on their beers. They put a batch number and bottling date on their beers.
  35. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Oh I know. I excitedly picked it up, rotated the bottle and saw the August date, then sadly put it back on the shelf. Luckily a 4 pack of Hoponius Union that was bottled 2 days prior saved my trip
  36. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (420) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    Who uses Born On? I don't like that at all. I like Bottled On and Canned On dates.
  37. My point was, Great Divide makes it so easy to see the bottling date, unlike many breweries where you have to hold a bottle at an angle in the right light to see it. Additionally, it remains visible even after bottles are handled by many would be consumers, unlike other breweries where the ink/paint/whatever it is has been wiped off the glass bottle.
  38. ncaudle

    ncaudle Advocate (700) Virginia May 28, 2010 Beer Trader

    I see "sell by" dates on those products, not "best by". the product is still perfectly good for another week or so after that date, much longer if meat and it's frozen after taken home.
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Champion (810) New Jersey Aug 10, 2005 Subscriber

    Word Mark BORN ON
    Goods and Services IC 032. US 045 046 048. G & S: beer.
    FIRST USE: 19960722.
    Filing Date March 7, 1996
    Registration Number 2083340 Registration Date July 29, 1997
    Owner (REGISTRANT) Anheuser-Busch, Incorporated CORPORATION One Busch Place St. Louis MISSOURI
    Type of Mark TRADEMARK
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