"Born on" or "Best before"

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

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  1. lucas1801

    lucas1801 Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2012 Massachusetts

    Boon uses their brew date for year not bottling date. So 2009 Marriage Parfait has a best by 23 years out from the neck label though the beer is a best by of 20 years from bottling date. The new batch is 2009 though it was released in 2012, so the best by is 2032. Older vintages may not have the year on the neck label(pre2003 I believe), so this can be helpful to some.
  2. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Not sure who to reply to :confused:

    Most "age able" beers (Barleywines, RIS, etc...) are great with some age (J.W. Lees Harvest, heaven in a bottle) but others not so much (St-Ambroise Vintage, drink it fresh!). It all depends on the quality of the brew itself, regardless of style. I've had some IPAs that were past their freshness date but were still quite tasty, some even having some good hoppy bitterness still. Optimal? No but speaks for the quality of the brewer.

    Also, conditions the beer has been kept in are also quite important. I've seen some high ABV brews collecting dust but in front of a window of a store. Who knows how long it's been there?
  3. Gassygunslinger

    Gassygunslinger Initiate (23) Dec 20, 2012 Maine

    Two reasons for which I'd love to see both. First, I can't always trust that the definition of "Fresh" (from the brewery) is actually fresh. I can't help but wonder if some freshness dates are stretched. Though it depends largely on the brewery. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that two breweries might have different definitions of fresh (for the same style, mind you), and that two beers with the same freshness date might have several months of variance in their bottled dates, and varied freshness.

    Second, the date THEY list may not take into account the environment it is stored in. I **** you not, the day before Jim Koch gave a big talk to my department about beer freshness (and making claims about how useless a "bottled on" date is), I had bought a 6-pack of Sam Adams Cream Stout that seemed like it was fresh according to the freshness date. In actuality that 6-pack had been sitting in the front of the (well lit) cooler for almost 11 months. Half the bottles were good, the other half (the front ones I believe) had a really funky scent and taste to it. So much for incredibly high freshness standards.

    The point being, I'd rather like to be able to judge for myself. Both is good.
  4. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,354) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You can skunk a beer very quickly in sunlight, and in a few days/a week in Fluorescent light. Was the aroma like smelling a skunk?
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,526) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    The best by date only protects the seller IMO. By giving a broad date he can keep it on the shelf longer because the date says so, and could give the illusion of being fresh. Obviously as a consumer I want a bottled date, I'm not much interested in a 5 month old IPA with a best buy date on it that's still in the window. Not into AB stuff but the born on date should be the industry standard.
  6. Gassygunslinger

    Gassygunslinger Initiate (23) Dec 20, 2012 Maine

    Not skunked, if I remember correctly... Just... Funky. Like they were trying to make a stout, but didn't hit the mark. Almost like they dropped something nasty that shouldn't have been there into the mix. The other few bottles were a solid stout, though. Perhaps it wasn't the light that did it, but sitting in the cooler for 11 months can't have been great.
  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,270) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    How can that be? SA Cream Stout's (like most of the BBC regular releases) "Enjoy before" date notched on the label is based on a 5 month shelf life. It can be easy checked by the stamped bottling date code on the shoulder of the bottle or the 12's or cases - the first letter representing the brewery (C=Cincinnati, P=Penna.) then the 3 digit Julian day-of-the-year and the next number the last digit of the year.

    Just checked a bottle of Cream Stout in the store - notched to drink before March, 2013 and bottled on the 264th day of the year, Sept. 24, 2012.

    (Aside to "steveh" - Hey, the first 'C' - Cincinnati SA beer I've seen in a long time in NJ.)
  8. Gassygunslinger

    Gassygunslinger Initiate (23) Dec 20, 2012 Maine

    Ah, that I didn't know. I work for a distributor, and asked one of the head haunchos how long the shelf life would be listed on those suckers, and he told me it was a year. Thanks for the clarification!
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,270) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, there you go - a classic example on why so much out-of-code beer can be found on the retail shelves :wink:. There's little doubt that the distributors' opinions of the shelf life of many beers is in conflict with, in this case, the clearly stated "Enjoy before" and bottling dates on a brewery's label.

    The retailers here on BA can probably give numerous examples of asking to exchange/refund old stock and being told "Oh, that stuff is still fine." Pulling the old beer is going to cost the distributor money - how much depending on their contract and the brewery (sometimes BBC has a 50-50 program going to clear the shelves but I don't think it is a permanent deal).
  10. kkipple

    kkipple Meyvn (1,008) Jul 30, 2005 South Carolina

    One more vote for the "born on" date. The only thing I am interested in is when my beer went into the package. I don't care if the brewery thinks their IPA is "best before" 18 months out, I'll decide that for myself, thank you.
  11. Alilley

    Alilley Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 Georgia

    If it were bottled 05/06/13 I would believe you. The day I drank it was 01/03/13 and the best by date was 06/06/13. That would mean it did not get bottled for another 3 days after I drank it. I live in Georgia and maybe Smutty has a Delorean that does 88 that they deliver beer in.
  12. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    I think somebody does not know how to subtract the number 6 from the month in a date.
    smutty33 likes this.
  13. abcramer

    abcramer Disciple (348) Feb 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I vote for bottled date or canned date. And, I believe it should be mandatory. If I'm shopping for beer and can't find any dating at all, I usually don't buy it.
  14. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (632) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    :astonished: OK,you win.Don't bother to e-mail the brewery to find out for yourself.........I stand by the facts.
  15. AlTrombley

    AlTrombley Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2012 Connecticut

    It is the date the beer was bottled. AB came up with it to try to compete with micro's. their thought on this was that micro's sat on shelves longer than mainstream beer (bud, bud lt). It was in the early/mid 90's ( the first micro craz). They used to have same day beer promo to go with it. .the beer was bottled that day and shipped to the local warehouse where it was then hand delevered to the local pub for a bar promotion that same night. It worked because alot of the micros at that time were going out of business ( beer not that good, bad owners, bad marketing, trying to grow to fast). The import market grew like crazy for a couple of years. The micro's who survived were stronger they started using AB'S dating system and there beers got alot better. The import craz helped the current micro brewers with the American beer drinkers taste. They came back more varieties of beers, much much better beers. I think we have gone from a laughing stock to the rest of the world to being the envy to the rest of the world in the last 20 years. Someone from anywhere in the world can come to this country and say what is a good local beer. Every state has at least one most several. And he will get a GREAT beer that he would not find where he is from. AB has eased up on born on dates(pretty much bud and bud lt). Sorry if I have bored anyone.i have worked in the beer sales biz for 20 years many imports, micros, and yes the evil empire AB( hey they have paid my mortgage for the last 12 years) cheers!
  16. IP-EH

    IP-EH Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2012 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Pliney the Elder and I belive Stone IPA has a "bottled on" date. Not much differant than born on date, I feel.
  17. AaronRodgersMVP12

    AaronRodgersMVP12 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2013 Wisconsin

    thats my main issue with flying dog. bought a sixer of raging bitch last year only to get home and find out the numbers indicate that it was a year old. half ended up drained
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