"Born on" or "Best before"

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

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  1. Svendozen

    Svendozen Dec 3, 2012 New Hampshire

    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.
     
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  2. tectactoe

    tectactoe Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    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 May 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    nuff said, bros lock the thread
     
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    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. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    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.
     
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  6. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    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 Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    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 Apr 27, 2006 Washington

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

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    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 Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    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. Svendozen

    Svendozen Dec 3, 2012 New Hampshire

    Yeah...I think "Born on"date was someone's catchphrase...maybe Budweiser or somebody.
     
  12. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    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 :)
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “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!?!

    Cheers!
     
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  14. leedorham

    leedorham Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    So, when you blend batches and bottle a gueuze, is the beer "born again?"
     
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  15. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

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

    Brew33 Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    bottled on > born on > best before
     
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  17. fredmugs

    fredmugs Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    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. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    godlessape, drtth, fmccormi and 2 others like this.
  19. Svendozen

    Svendozen Dec 3, 2012 New Hampshire

    Just for kicks I just emailed Smuttynose to maybe get some answers.
     
  20. robertrunner

    robertrunner May 9, 2009 California

    I still like Deschutes "best after" dates
     
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    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.

    Cheers!

    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 Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    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
     
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  23. LeRose

    LeRose Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    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 Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    What confused customers about bottled on dates? Does your average customer even look at dates on beer bottles?
     
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "both would be ideal" That is the answer right there!

    Cheers!
     
  26. LeRose

    LeRose Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    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 Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    Both.
     
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  28. LeRose

    LeRose Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    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. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    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".
     
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  30. willbm3

    willbm3 Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    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. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    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 Jun 28, 2011 Minnesota

    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.
     
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  33. LeRose

    LeRose Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    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 Jun 10, 2008 Missouri
    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 Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    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 Jun 2, 2012 Nauru

    Who uses Born On? I don't like that at all. I like Bottled On and Canned On dates.
     
  37. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    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 May 28, 2010 Virginia
    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 Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber


    Word Mark BORN ON
    Goods and Services IC 032. US 045 046 048. G & S: beer.
    FIRST USE: 19960722.
    FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 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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