The Bottled date should be mandatory. With so many ipas being consumed freshness is critical. The only reason why breweries don't have the bottled date is they don't want to loose sales because the beer is old. However, in the long run it hurts the breweries because if you drink an old beer and it sucks but don't know its old you'll never buy it again. When the breweries have a bottled date I rate that beer and brewery higher. The bottle date tells me the brewery cares, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.