Lagers, meh. Code dating implies that you need a decoder. Dates need to be standard and human readable without a secret decoder ring or searching the interwebs for the one person that knows how to interpret it. And although dates are important to IPA drinkers, I - as a dark-ale fan - don't care much about bottle dating and never check them. Aging can improve some non-brett beers, but it is subjective. Though I like some coffee stouts fresh, other beers where they've added coffee as only one of many add-junks get better when aging has faded the coffee and allowed the other flavors to come forward IMHO. Two examples are Founders CBS and Prairie Pirate Noir, which in my opinion are much better with 6 months age to take the edge off the coffee. But as you say aging doesn't always improve beer. Drink what you like, but keep your options open and informed by trying all the styles you can. Your perception is wrong in regards to lagers! We agree on the independent beer opinion. There are some great bears that didn't turn not-great just by selling out to big-beer. If you are saying you're a fan of BMC macro - I'll pass.