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What's the longest expired beer you've seen on a shelf?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BlueRogue, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. I found a few Batch 008 Paradox Islay recently. Same best by 2009 date. I gambled and it actually wasn't half bad. There's still a few more sitting at Marino's outside of Toledo, OH. They're probably going to be hit or miss, though... some were kept in the walk-in, some on the shelf.
     
  2. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (555) Vermont Oct 22, 2003

    I know someone who found Dingle Puff that went out of code in 1978.
     
  3. mcrago

    mcrago Savant (355) Indiana Oct 6, 2012

    Stone 11.11.11 still on the shelf in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Also, 2010 Mephistopheles.
     
  4. BrownNut

    BrownNut Savant (305) Florida Jul 11, 2011

    There is some Kasteel Rouge on a forgotten shelf in my local store that has now been there for almost two years. I have to be the only person ever to have bought it in my somewhat rustic area. I think it's actually suitable for aging because if an interview I watched was right, it's a bruin-that's-really-a-quad blended with a kriek and is bottle conditioned. I had some at about 18 months old though and it tasted off. More cherry stems than cherry.
     
  5. RDMII

    RDMII Savant (315) Georgia Apr 11, 2010

    I bought a Blanche De Charleroi off the shelf last year, got home and found the date on it, 1999. Found the brewery was closed up years ago, but I tried it anyway. Not bad at all really.
     
  6. BigPlay1824

    BigPlay1824 Savant (400) New York Oct 13, 2010

    Personally, I find it unaaceptable to have out of code beer on the shelf as it does not do justice to the beer, brewery, or the store selling it. Who do you guys feel is responsible for keeping this in check though? The store, the brewery rep, the distributor sales rep, or is it us as the consumer who is responsible for keep everything honest and equal? Just curious to see what everyone feels
     
  7. SteelersX

    SteelersX Savant (420) New York Jan 30, 2011

    Always Stone beers
    Ruination
    Pale ale (2+years)
    Levitation
     
  8. The distributors seem to think it's their job:

    "Keep the Perishable Product Safe and Fresh ...After delivery, the distributor continues to monitor retailer shelves, taps and keg lines to ensure consumers are receiving the freshest product."​
     
    BigPlay1824 likes this.
  9. SteelersX

    SteelersX Savant (420) New York Jan 30, 2011

    They are known for removing dates and actually buying old beer to sell.
     
  10. I have purposely sought out stores with good beer selections that people don't frequent. In those stores I once found a 2 year old Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster, and I bought it out of shear curiosity.

    I also have found Gale's Millenium brew from 1997 on the shelf, but bought that with excitement and enjoyed it, then I bought three more. I was also extremely excited to find 2008 Samichlaus and Dogfish Head World Wide Stout on the shelf about a year ago.
     
  11. BrownNut

    BrownNut Savant (305) Florida Jul 11, 2011

    I would have thought the store in the past. I mean it's your product and your customers - keep an eye on your stuff, right?

    But from what I hear it's often the distributor's responsibility. They are the ones regularly bringing in fresh product and checking shelf placement and stuff and are the specialists in their stable of products, whereas the store owner has a zillion other products to keep up with. I imagine it would be tough to keep tabs on all those expiration dates.

    I think the customer should be sort of a failsafe, to let owners know they've got older product on the shelf, because the owner can note it and check in with the distributor guy next time. But it's kind of a weak link, because customers often don't know how long a brewer intends for a beer to be OK on the shelf, particularly if the date code is a born-on rather than an enjoy-before. Zealous IPA guys might see a six week old beer and tell a sort of clueless store owner that that's too old, when maybe the brewery is OK with 3 months. Same for beers that actually benefit from age, but the customer just assumes an arbitrary cutoff.

    I think the brewers are the most removed from it because they're a step removed by law. And as far as brewery reps, sometimes there's one person for a whole state - they can't police all that shelf stock, only check a small sample. What they could all do is make sure to date stamp in the first place and to use comprehensible dates, not cryptic codes.

    They could also work to educate their distributors better to the degree they have any leverage. The distributor guy in my local store, the one who is supposed to know the most about these particular products in a store that carries loads of other beer plus wine, liquor, etc., tried to tell me that IPAs benefited from aging when I pointed out multiple dusty 6-month old and 9-month old bottles on the shelf. It's not like they'd spoil or poison you, but you guys know what I'm talking about. I think some breweries have said 6 months and I'll take their word for it, but my hop receptors say differently, and 9 months is just not reasonable for an IPA. That guy had it backwards and is the reason I won't buy anything not date-stamped from that store anymore.

    I even reported that old beer on brewers' websites and in one case talked to the brewery. They said they had been told thait got fixed, I went and checked, and the old stuff was still there. They got back on the case again and the stuff still stayed there. So I'm thinking either the distributor or the store owner doesn't want to eat the cost and so isn't worried about selling worn out beer. They have so many different beers there that are over a year old, some approaching two years, and not in most cases styles you want to age.
     
    BigPlay1824 likes this.
  12. There's a place near me that has tons of beer over two years old. They have Deschutes and FW beer with discontinued labels and a brown ale from Deschutes that isn't even made anymore. They have a bunch of bombers of 2010 Celebration. Last year I bought two six packs of Anchor OSA from '06 and '07.
     
  13. Schwerzpunkt

    Schwerzpunkt Aficionado (135) Oct 9, 2012

    Last week i saw some single cans of Deviant Dale's from Feb. 2008.
     
  14. BrownNut

    BrownNut Savant (305) Florida Jul 11, 2011

    Hey me too! The rep followed up for me and stayed on the case but it didnt help
     
  15. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (435) California Nov 20, 2010

    Found 3 1996 Anchor OSAs on the shelf at a local liquor store. Bought 'em all (at the 1.29 pricetag probably put on them in '96). So far have tasted two of them...one disgusting, the other slightly less disgusting. At a total of around $5, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try something 16 years old. No high hopes for the last bottle, but never say never.
     
    UCLABrewN84 likes this.
  16. A few years ago, I found a 6-pack of Oskar Blues pils that was almost two years old. Told the person working about it, went back to find a different pils. Next time I was in there, they had put the old beer back on the shelf. o_O
     
  17. I was really miffed when I found those cans and your statement confirms my frustration, I've lost respect for the store.
     
  18. slander

    slander Site Editor (580) New York Nov 5, 2001 Staff Member

    In 2005, I beerflyed a place called "The Beer Store" in Monticello, NY. This this was part of the review...

    "Here's a little something more. Visiting The Beer Store also affords you the opportunity to visit the beer museum in Liberty, NY (located 5 exits further up Route 17 from Monticello). It's a little beer store on Rte 52 with some shelves of old, old, old, dusty beer. New England Holiday Ale, Wild Boar Classic Pils, Dock Street Amber & Bohemian Pils, Old Peconic Hampton Ale (there was a brewery on Shelter Island? Really?), Elm City Mr. Mike's Light Ale (Elm City went out in '98), Pete's Octoberfest in the short snub bottles, and the Longshore Target Rock Ale, notched for best before March, 1998. I sure as shit wasn't going to buy anything here, not to drink anyway, I was just taking in the sites, giggling to myself, when someone asks me if I need assistance. "Um, you have some reeeal old beer here". He replies, "No, no more than 2 or 3 years old". "Dude", (I start pointing this way and that), "This beer is notched best to drink before 7 years ago. This brewery, this brewery, and this brewery never saw the new millenium, I've never even heard of this one", and on and on. Not really a beer museum but they've got a good start at the makings of one".

    ....so, I guess that's 7 years past due.
     
  19. there's a store near me that i never buy ipas from unless it is a brand new release. they always have stuff that is 6 months - 1 year old on the shelf. even found some that are getting close to 2 years. told a store employee, and it's still on the shelf.
     
  20. beerpadawan

    beerpadawan Savant (380) California Aug 12, 2007

    Found a store in San Dimas with a 3 or 4 year-old Polish (I think) light lager in a clear bottle in direct sunlight, with apparent ages of dust on its shoulders.

    My favorite is not a beer find, but another non-air-conditioned liquor store in Garden Grove had on a shelf in the back an '88 Fetzer chardonnay (or some white wine). This was 2006-7. The liquid had brownish tint to it at that point. The store also had a fridge case that was not plugged in, and was filled instead with piles of cheap purses.
     
  21. Some Stone Levitation that was a year and six months expired.
     
  22. RDMII

    RDMII Savant (315) Georgia Apr 11, 2010

    Same place I found the '99 Blanche also had 2005 Gouden Carolus Grand Cru, 2004 Samichlaus, and a few 2008 Ruben and The Jets. Plus GD's 15th, 16, and 17th Anniversaries. Actually, there was a huge shelf full of old stuff, some I've never heard of. Plenty of 2003 Petrus and a few vintage Fantoms too. Oh, and Harviestoun Engine Oil Special Reserve, which was discontinued in 2007. I've been slowly buying it up because it's out of the light for the most part and the place is well ventilated, so I don't feel it's been exposed to much heat. Nothing has been bad so far.
     
  23. The distributor and the store. Part of a sales rep's job is to make sure their beer is fresh. The store staff should also make check but it is up to the distributor to exchange the out of code stuff. If I have expired BMC crap, the distributor freaks out and exchanges it right away. When those same distributors see out of code craft stuff they sell, they couldn't care less.
     
  24. Keffa

    Keffa Advocate (505) Ohio Jan 8, 2009

    Lagunitas Cruisin With Rueben and the Jets. Bought a bottle at my local shop back in May.
     
  25. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Colorado Nov 24, 2011


    Ummmm. That beer hasn't been around that long. It came out last year I think.
     
    vkv822 and PeterJ like this.
  26. Airyk12

    Airyk12 Aficionado (155) Oregon Jan 1, 2011

    Bifrost Winter ale last month, expired May 2011. For a hoppy beer, it was quite good. The malt was definitely more forward, and the hops just tasted a little resiny.
     
  27. Schwerzpunkt

    Schwerzpunkt Aficionado (135) Oct 9, 2012

    Oops
    You are correct, and I was mistaken. It was something by Oskar Blues, but I can't recall which.
     
  28. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    There's a certain beer store in Corpus Christi that, if you look hard enough, you can find ancient beer. 5+ years old if you're not careful. :)
     
  29. TNGabe

    TNGabe Initiate (0) Tennessee Feb 6, 2012

    Why would you do a horrible thing like that?
     
  30. CircusBoy

    CircusBoy Savant (320) Ohio Mar 10, 2008

    First time I had Celebration Ale I bought a 3 year old 6 pack.
     
  31. emerge077

    emerge077 Champion (950) Illinois Apr 16, 2005

    There was a great post in the Pacific forum a couple years ago where someone had happened upon a roadside smokehouse on the NW coast that happened to be selling off a beer collection for a friend or something. They had early batches (possibly even batch 1) of HOTD Adam, among other cellar worthy stuff. It was a great beer hunting story...

    A few years back there was a local store (since closed) with a trove of forgotten beers, some 10 years old or more. Aass Bock, Artevelde, FFF Xtra Pale, FFF Burnham Pilsner, old label St. Bernardus, even ancient New Glarus Spotted Cow (from 2002 or earlier). The owner seemed to think they were collectable, and wanted too much for them, but was willing to haggle. In the same area, there were a couple dusty bottles of Dobbelen Bruinen with 1994 and 1996 printed on the corks... the beer was long out of production but still tasty.
     
  32. Great Divide IPA, packaged in 2009. No way.
     
  33. powpig2002

    powpig2002 Savant (335) Florida Jan 26, 2012

    shit, couldn't be any worse tthan fresh. i hate seadog
     
  34. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (565) California Dec 12, 2009

    That one will be tasting all kinds of good!!
     
  35. 2002 Unibroue Trois Pistoles in a little shop back in 2009. They were about to move in another building so they did a closeout sale. The owner kept the bottle in the cellar since '02 but released it before moving.

    I opened it in 2010 and this stuff tastes like Port wine when aged properly! It's really awesome.
     
  36. dc55110

    dc55110 Advocate (515) Minnesota Oct 24, 2010

    The cork had completely dried out. It was a stale, flat, nothing.
     
  37. ghostly

    ghostly Aficionado (145) New York Mar 7, 2011

    In the seasonal section, Full Sail Wassail dated 04/01/1XXX. It looks like it's probably 1999. Drank it before I noticed. Mostly flat. As someone else pointed out, it wasn't distributed where I live in '99, so that means the place bought old remainders.
     
  38. Wow - regardless of the plausibility of this occurring, I wonder how many times a distributor has sought after, found, and removed product from a shelf due to its lack of freshness.
     
  39. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (525) New York Mar 7, 2010

    I bought the 7.3 abv version of MacQueen's Nessie back in March of this year. That recipe was discontinued in 2008, so at the very least this was four years old. Its now 5.0 abv. While there was no best buy date, I can't imagine a Vienna Lager has a long shelf life. Of course, I didn't realize the recipe changed until after I bought it. It wasn't horrible, enclosed is my review:

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/285/1831/?ba=Derranged
     
  40. SteelersX

    SteelersX Savant (420) New York Jan 30, 2011

    I actually reported the old stone product on the Stone website and guess what happened.
    2 new fresh cases came in but were put under all the old cases. FIFO style!
    Gimme a break.
     

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