Beer Drinkers: Will you drink beers that are past the sell by date?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by rdilauro, Sep 19, 2013.

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  1. rdilauro

    rdilauro Crusader (753) Mar 8, 2010 Connecticut

    I was just reading the thread about Store owners and how they handle beers that are beyond their sale date. I've discussed this so many times with customers and I think it warrants a try as its oun thread here.

    I do cellar some beers, some most people would understand and agree (High ABV, Stouts, etc) and some that people would frown on (High IPAs - Sculpins,Resins, etc) then some just for the sake of keeping them around.

    Since I deal with customers daily, I want to be able to tell them first hand what changes to expect in a beer that is past the sell date. I am not talking about those 30 packs that are 1 month or 2 past the date, but some of the craft beers.

    I bought a case of Sculpin last year. Every month a few of us would taste ito see if we could notice any changes. For the first 6 we really didn't notice anything. But soon afterwards, the freshness and approach of the hops started to diminish. The beer was still very drinkable and enjoyable, but it did loose some of that special feel that made it so outstanding in the beginning.

    That type of information I like to share with our customers.
  2. PsilohsaiBiN

    PsilohsaiBiN Defender (608) Aug 10, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    I cellar high abv and bottle conditioned beers. But I also find myself frequently picking up a 6 pack of IPA goodness every week anyway. I like to think it makes sense.
  3. olekern

    olekern Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2010 California depends.
  4. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (394) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Sure. I would drink it... unless it's like 3 years past for a beer meant to drink right away.
    IN fact, I had one just this week. I had a Stone Enjoy By 09/13/13, and HORROR!!!! I drank it on the 15th. (It was still fantastic, I had a couple early on in the release, there was no change)
    ScottyG likes this.
  5. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Aspirant (273) Jun 23, 2004 Oregon

    Depending on the beer. SN Celebration, one of my favorite beers, holds up well for 9 months or so. I actually prefer it with a few months on it compared to very fresh. SN Summerfest doesn't hold up well at all and must be fresh. Year-old Dale's Pale Ale is still drinkable but definitely lacks the enticing hop aroma and flavor of fresh. I thought CCB's Jose Marti Porter was quite a bit better after a year than when fresh.
  6. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    I generally won't buy out of date or clearance beers.
  7. mrcraft

    mrcraft Meyvn (1,342) Dec 15, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Yes. I found an Alesmith IPA I forgot I bought earlier mixed in with stuff I was holding on to. It was about 7 months after the bottle date. I drank it, and it was surprisingly good. I'll need to try a fresh one to compare, but I was pleasantly surprised in a positive way.
  8. JMagee

    JMagee Initiate (152) Jan 2, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Agreed on all counts with what type of beer it is. But I'm sure you know enough that most people would be more than happy to buy a 2010 Stone Imperial Stout if you just happen to still have those sitting around on the shelf.

    For me personally, if its a bottle shop I am not intimately familiar with, sell by dates are the only real piece of information I have to work with when judging the quality of the product inside.

    I've been to too many bottleshops over the years where the environment outside is too involved on the product inside. For example, cases of beer sitting on palettes outside in the middle of Summer because there's no room to store them inside. Having the doors open and sun shining on bottles in the midst of the heatwave because it's cheaper than running the A/C.

    So getting back to my original stance. Noting the sell by date gives me some idea how long a beer could have been exposed to adverse conditions.

    If it's a bottleshop I regularly frequent, then sell by dates are less important, if it's something I'm really jonesing for.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,245) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    I can't image that a brewery would be happy with not just a retailer selling a beer past the brewer's own "best by" date, but also trying to describe the "changes" which the brewer has determined are negative (oxidized, stale, loss of hop flavor/nose, etc.) aspects of a beer which they no longer want sold to the public.
    BrettHead, ChipMurray and ant880 like this.
  10. e34john

    e34john Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I have 2 year old palate wrecker, I wonder if I should drink it.
  11. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (474) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    Stop selling old IPA's :sunglasses:

    <--Works at a beerstore
  12. lovethebelgians

    lovethebelgians Initiate (176) Apr 25, 2013 Illinois

    When I stumbled upon my first and only 4 pack of KBS at a liquor store this year and judging by the other Founders stock there it was at least a year old, I bought it not realizing its age, and it was delicious when I got to try it, one of the best stout experiences ever and I shared half of the bottle, so.....I would definitely buy oldies off the shelves as long as they were ales I knew could take some age.
  13. oceanman907

    oceanman907 Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2013 Texas

    I Just bought a bottle of 2012 Boulevard Harvest Dance, the "best by" date was two months prior, but the beer still tasted good, I haven't had a fresh one though so hard to compare, but I feel like a wheatwine (at 9.5 ABV) could age more than one year so I thought that "best by" date was a little strange
  14. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Aspirant (231) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    That best by date was chosen because we feel the beer leans more towards hops in the balance of flavors. I agree with you though, that beer is drinking really nicely right now.
  15. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (487) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Yes, but I won't enjoy it as much. If it is really bad it gets dumped, if it is ok I drink till I can't taste it.
  16. jbaakko

    jbaakko Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2013 California

    I've been creeping though 2012 Lucky Bastard's with an enjoy by date of Jan 31 2013. They're still good, though without a decent stirring there will be a yeast ring in the bottle (Liquor store limits me to two bottles).

    On a side note, anyone want 2012 Lucky Bastard? ;-)
  17. damienblack

    damienblack Initiate (0) Jul 5, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Well on the enjoy by series, it's not so much as a hard best buy date as it is a gimmick to get people to buy them up :slight_smile:
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