Bottled date should be mandatory

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by GetMeAnIPA, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. dhannes

    dhannes Devotee (499) Feb 14, 2010 Wisconsin

    Agreed...and if the taste is off, the consumer should be able to take it back to the store for a replacement.
  2. dhannes

    dhannes Devotee (499) Feb 14, 2010 Wisconsin

    Ironically, I've purchased outdated beer at my neighborhood store twice within the past 15 months...I now check the bottles. I went there last night and almost got outdated product again...he assured me that both he, the manager, and the distributors try to check for it. He gave me a refund the one time that I bought an absolutely out of date product that was awful...still, there needs to be more done to reduce this from happening.
  3. dhannes

    dhannes Devotee (499) Feb 14, 2010 Wisconsin

    I is a food product and does expire, at least in terms of being enjoyable (and some might even make you sick). Not critical, but hardly a burden on companies and worthy to protect the industry.
  4. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Deserves to be quoted over and over.
    cavedave and stayclean like this.
  5. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,270) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    This is what I always think, if I was a brewer would I want someone trying my beer for the first time to get an old one, spit it out and never try it again.

    Also, many on here blame the consumer for getting old beer, but newbies to craft don't neccesarily know that some beers need to be consumed fresh, those old beers shouldn't even be on the shelf to begin with.
  6. mellowmark

    mellowmark Aspirant (263) Mar 31, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I understand it costs money but it's worth it in the long run for the reasons suggested by the OP. No more excuses!
  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Such date coding has been common for decades, and, of course, many breweries still use it. Most are pretty easy to figure out (I've been doing it for decades) and are usually some form of Julian/day of the year dating, which is pretty traditional in lots of industries. (It's particularly helpful in international business, where using 06/12 might mean June 12th in the US and December 6th in Europe).

    But, as frequently noted in these threads, many BA's don't find it at all helpful or acceptable and get quite angry over Julian dates (where one has to do a little math) or Anchor's coding - which is obviously mechanical rather than computerized.
  8. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Does anyone have any data on bottle dating having an effect on the industry, or any particularly brewery, at all? There seem to be plenty of growing, successful breweries who don't date (Rogue), who do (Dogfish Head), and who sort of don't (Sierra Nevada*).

    *Their code is basically meaningless if you haven't been told how to read it.
  9. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (2,562) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Next you will want the Calories on the bottle. Just buy what you are comfortable with. My shop told me if I ever get a bad beer just bring it back and they will gladly exchange it for me. My grocery store lets me bring back anything that is bad and refunds me, so I really don't see what all the fuss is about.
  10. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    He, Fritz Maytag, and Ken Grossman basically started the craft brew revolution in this country at a time when you were sucking on a baby bottle, or perhaps not even born. Sorry to have to put it this way to show the absolutely ridiculous nature of your post, but it seemed the best way to make the point.
    musicman7070, Brunite, mooseo and 3 others like this.
  11. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Beer is not a food product when it comes to government rules and regulation. Unless you are allergic to an ingredient, there is nothing in beer that is going to make you sick. There is no doubt that beer will become less enjoyable if it's too old but it is not going to spoil like milk, meat or bread.

    There are a number of very good reasons why bottle dating should be done but there is not a reason it needs to be mandated.
    Beerandraiderfan, drtth and cavedave like this.
  12. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Haha I love it when people prove the opposing opinion with a post.

    Protip #317- more govt. regulations = less industry jobs.
  13. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (2,562) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I'd almost believe that except that less regulations on the financial industry seemed to = less jobs. But I'm not here to debate regulations.
  14. jmmy3

    jmmy3 Aspirant (292) Nov 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    What exactly is not craft about Sam Adams? Is Sierra Nevada not craft to you as well then? Laughable. Jim Koch plays a huge part in the growth of the craft business, someone from VA shouldn't act so elitist.
  15. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,412) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Actually deregulating the securities industry led to a giant increase in number of jobs in the securities industry, but lets not compare apples to apples.
  16. LankFreudRyte

    LankFreudRyte Initiate (59) Mar 13, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I try only to consume from non-dating bottlers by direct purchasing at the brewpub. Enjoy a glass or two and carry-out their limit/your limit, to enjoy again. Thank you Three Floyds.
  17. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (297) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Surprisingly enough, this is false. With the exception of infant formula, the FDA doesnt require food products to be labeled with a sell by, best by, or any other form of expiration date.
    drtth likes this.
  18. Thads324

    Thads324 Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2010 Connecticut

    Exactly this. If I'm in a store I always look for a date. If there isn't one and I'm wary I just won't buy it.
  19. EddieGold

    EddieGold Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2012 North Carolina

    what did people do before bottle dating?
    5thOhio likes this.
  20. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (506) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    Kind of a stretch to say that if someone gets a bad bottle of beer, that would affect millions of jobs.

    OTOH, one might suggest that more regulations = more cost to the brewery = less money to invest in the brewery = less jobs.
    cavedave likes this.
  21. KansasBeerLover

    KansasBeerLover Disciple (348) Feb 16, 2009 Kansas

    They passed the 18th amendment!
  22. EddieGold

    EddieGold Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2012 North Carolina

    established prohibition?
  23. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    People? It's really up to the wholesaler to maintain fresh beer on the shelves.

    And contrary to current belief beer - certainly in the post Repeal era - has always been coded one way or another. You can find old beer labels stamped, notched or sometimes perforated with the dates, and many old beer cans are also stamped or embossed on the base with a code. And the cardboard sixpack wrappers, baskets and cases were also sometimes dated.

    Here's Pabst's coding and locations from the 1970's, for instance (click for larger view):


    And it should be remembered that 50 years ago, there were 6,000 wholesalers in the US selling beer from only about 250 breweries. And the vast majority of those breweries were local or regional and brewed, maybe, 2-6 different labels, so there were a lot fewer individual brands on the shelves in any one market, and more reps to look after them compared to today with 1000 US breweries plus 100's of imports yet only around 2-3,000 distributors.

    It was a lot easier for a local wholesaler's rep to keep track of his, maybe, four different breweries and maybe 10-20 different brands and not too many different packages. Ask a distributor sales guy how many "sku's" his company carries today. Even with computer inventory control, etc., it's a lot bigger job.
  24. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (402) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Bottle dating would be nice, although with regards to US beers I would be more interesting to see a standard where the ABV percentage has to be included on the beer. It is required in Canada, and I am amazed by how many beers I bring back from the US that don't have anything on them that indicates alcohol percentage.
  25. Melikeydahop

    Melikeydahop Initiate (0) May 19, 2012 New Jersey

    Mandatory...absolutely not...caveat emptor...but will I buy a beer that isn't dated....nooooooo sirrrrrrr
  26. joeebbs

    joeebbs Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I've had Anchor Small Beer before and didn't like it and have wanted to try it again. I've seen a couple of bottles around here one with a 2010 date and another with a 2011 date. These aren't discounted bottles. Granted Anchor's dating can be tricky at first but at least all you need to know is the first number is the last number in the year (eg 0 is 2010) I blame this one on the retailer more than the brewery.

    Or maybe 2-3 years old is okay to drink a 3% beer?
  27. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (473) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Meh. There are enough options out there that this is an issue you can personally vote with your wallet. You want bottled-on dates? Buy dated beer.

    On the other hand, what I'd REALLY rather see a push for is for bars to publish kegging dates on their tap lists. Everyone always assumes that beer on tap is fresh, but I have many times found that not to be the case. Few beer-related experiences suck more than spotting a coveted draft at your local watering hole, only to show up and find out that the beer doesn't taste fresh.

    This past black Friday, I went to 2 separate events only to be let down twice by 2 separate beers that were past their prime. My brother-in-law swore that Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout was a waste of time because the coffee didn't add anything when he had it on tap at a bar. Needless to say, a fresh bottle of it completely changed his mind.
    cavedave likes this.
  28. ffenski

    ffenski Initiate (27) Apr 24, 2008 Ohio

    I would like to see a list of breweries who bottle date. That way I can use my flashlight and magnifying glass more selectively when I go to the store.
  29. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Where did you get that from?

    EDIT: Nevermind, read a few responses down, you were trolling.
  30. zstef99

    zstef99 Initiate (41) Dec 25, 2008 New York

    I stand corrected. Interesting that such a huge majority of food products carry best by dates considering its not mandatory.
  31. dhannes

    dhannes Devotee (499) Feb 14, 2010 Wisconsin

    Oh, the regulation is relatively small and so is the cost...true, it is in the brewer's best interest to do so, but it could help the industry...and doing so would not create less jobs...maybe even more, if someone is needed to make sure the bottle is marked correctly.
  32. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (506) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    You're applying the broken window theory, which says that hiring the guy to check the labels would create a job. But it might be better to use that same money to invest in the brewery, which might just create more than one job in the long run.

    Yeah, the cost of that regulation is relatively small...and so is the cost of another regulation...and another...and another...and another...drip, drip, drip...

    Why not just "regulate" with your wallet and not buy beers without a bottle date if it matters that much to you? Why bring the heavy hand of government down just so you can get beer that you perceive to be fresher than beer without a bottle date? Did you ever do a blind taste test to see if you can tell the difference?
  33. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    What a strange perspective. In other words....government regulation to protect craft beer advocacy? Might I suggest that the feds also regulate the quality and digestibility of fast foods so as to improve the product? What if the first timer got heartburn and never went back to the drive-thru window? Think of the jobs that could be lost!

    More realistically, I am going out on a limb to suggest that if craft brewers want to protect and see their niche thrive and grow....that THEY (and not the Prez) take the responsibility to ensure their products freshness and superiority. Just a thought...
    SpunkyHopslammer and cavedave like this.
  34. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    Sing it, brother!
  35. lic217

    lic217 Champion (885) Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I refuse to buy any type of hoppy beer without a date. No exceptions.
  36. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    I avoid some breweries that dont date bottles. I have been burned too many times.
  37. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    Because he doesn't know shit, amirite?
  38. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    Can I get some documentation on this?
  39. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (178) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    I would have to disagree, beer is a food product and it DOES expire. And yes, you can get sick from really bad beer.
  40. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (402) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    I think for a lot of products it is just a huge scam. I mean how many people if they find say a package of microwave popcorn or some hot chocolate mix in the back of their cupboard that is a month or two past the best before date and throw it out without trying it (and go buy more)? That is of course more money for the companies who make those products. And if they can set the date to whatever they want with no legal requirements it is perfect.
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