Did Green Flash STOP bottle dating?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jrnyc, Nov 8, 2013.

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  1. Morey

    Morey Meyvn (1,041) Dec 30, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This would have probably been fine.
  2. Hendry

    Hendry Crusader (774) Mar 8, 2013 Vermont

    So if I'm reading correctly, the Hop Head Red I saw on the shelf yesterday with an Enjoy By date of 7/15/14 was bottled on 2/15/14? If that is the case, I'm glad I didn't buy a $12 4 pack of 3 month old IPA.
    myuncle likes this.
  3. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,687) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I had it near the date of best by and was floored as to how vibrant the hoppiness still was.
    BrettHead likes this.
  4. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Defender (675) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    All the WCIPA at my store still has the old packaging. Can never find any of their stuff fresh, so I never buy it. No clue how these guys stay in business.
    LightnerLiquorKS and teamwiggum like this.
  5. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (849) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Grabbed a bottle of the new WCIPA in Florida - and it was delicious. However, the field with "bottled on" was completely blank. This should, and needs to be fixed
  6. RangnaR

    RangnaR Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 California

    Wait, what? I thought this was a running joke now? It's like a choose your own adventure beer... BYOMarker
  7. TommyLiam

    TommyLiam Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2013 Arizona

    I no longer buy Green Flash because I have no reliable way of determining how old their hoppy beer is and their stouts are outclassed by similarly priced competitors. The only exception is when I lived in Seattle and my beer guys could vouch for the beer, a luxury I no longer have.
    teamwiggum likes this.
  8. e34john

    e34john Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Man, forgot to ask them about this yesterday on the tour. My friend's place has an account with them so they were answering all his questions.
  9. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Meyvn (1,320) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Just grabbed a 4pk of the new Road Warrior- a steep 3 nickels, has drink by ,but nothing in the box. With the rye and crystal malts in this one it tastes like it could get awful thick with a long stay on the shelf..........
  10. RangnaR

    RangnaR Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 California

    Kinda funny when you think about it. They have the attention to detail to brew good beers but let probably thousands of bottles go by without any date in the date section of the label.. You think they ever bottled any West Coast IPA and forgot to add Simcoe hops or something?
    yemenmocha and beernuts like this.
  11. Kanger

    Kanger Zealot (576) Sep 3, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    The last 4 pack of Green Flash Road Warrior bottles I bought were all missing dates.
  12. Mineo

    Mineo Disciple (337) Jul 7, 2010 New York

    the last 4-pack of WCIPA had no bottle dates, either. just a blank spot where it should be. I just bought it because it had the new packaging so I figured it must be new enough. tastes good, obviously not super-fresh, but good enough -- probably 45-60 days on it.
  13. dank203

    dank203 Devotee (455) May 21, 2012 New Jersey

    it looks that way, weird they they have the wording "best before" with an arrow pointing to a blank spot?
  14. myuncle

    myuncle Devotee (434) Mar 17, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    in brail
    nophunk likes this.
  15. nophunk

    nophunk Aspirant (280) Nov 27, 2011 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    I purchased an Imperial IPA at Costco the other day for $5. It had no date. It was the new label, so I knew it was pretty fresh. Decent beer but man how my hoppy tastes have changed.
  16. APBT91

    APBT91 Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 North Carolina

  17. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,479) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Best before INFINITY
  18. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    [​IMG] I am a retailer in Wichita, Kansas and today I received Green Flash's new packaging. There is a BEST BY date on the outside of the case. On the West Coast IPA it is 16-OCT-2014. But indeed, how would a 4pack buying customer know this? As we've discussed, the BEST BY date on the bottle is blank. I will inform my customers this... I might write "best by" on the price tag itself.

    Has Green Flash released a statement about this?
    LarryK, cjgiant, jamvt and 3 others like this.
  19. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    I hope my postings can give this community an idea of the longevity of their beer. I will post more dates as I get new packaging. Here's the Double Stout! :slight_smile: [​IMG]
    SkinniePost and johnsonni like this.
  20. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,519) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    It could be why every Green Flash I've tried I've hated. It's also why Two Hearted is usually the IPA I buy when I buy outside local because I know the beer I bought today is 19 days old bottled on 5/12. It also has fairly high turnover too so I do suppose guys around here who like IPA's also know it's dated properly. Best by dates are for shit as are Julian codes while better I don't want to think about it. Pick up a Dales the canned date is on the bottom, no thought involved.
    hardy008 and Cubatobaco like this.
  21. jrnyc

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

    Green Flash was my first love in craft beer, but their manic bottle dating / non - bottle dating history makes it hard to still love them. Like my high school girlfriend many years ago, I have outgrown them.
    johnsonni likes this.
  22. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    Rush out and get sixers of Deschutes Fresh Squeezed with late August dates! =) Amazing Freshness. We've sold 11 cases since mid April.
  23. Biff_Tannen

    Biff_Tannen Disciple (319) Dec 8, 2013 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I used to be a huge green flash fan. But stuff like this makes it hard to continue. I saw some Hop Head Red with Bottled On dates on the shelf today. That's good, right? Til I saw they we're bottled IN MARCH '13!!!!
  24. Kinsman

    Kinsman Champion (873) Aug 26, 2009 California

    Walked into the Total Wine in Reno yesterday and was surprised to see a big Green Flash display right at the entrance. A bunch of cases of WCIPA, Hop Head Red, Rayon Very, and Double Stout all stacked together with four-packs displayed on top. I browse for a bit, looking for the dates and can't find any on most of the bottles. Finally, I spot a date of 5/1/13 on one of the Hop Heads and immediately decide not to purchase any GF that day. I wasn't aware of the new package designs, but now that I see this, it makes sense for the store to to stack them out front to try to get rid of all their old stock. Most people are suckers, but fortunately I am not.
    jrnyc likes this.
  25. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    Wow...I don't even put out of date beer on closeout. I will consume it or give it away. There does come a time where it gets hard to manage dates (having around 400 craft selections in a single owner store is time consuming). But that is never an excuse to sell your customers bad beer....I mean, they are your customers...lol. I guess this just gets lost on some companies.
  26. Cubatobaco

    Cubatobaco Crusader (718) Jan 27, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    This is aggravating to say the least!
  27. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    Green Flash seems to think Rayon Vert is Duvel, and no sort of bottling date (even on the old ones) is necessary. Of course it says on the box, and the beer that I recieved--lol--it was brewed in 2011!!! I yelled at my salesman and told him to re-yell to his boss. ALAS, I get a MID-2013ish Rayon Vert shipment last week and I try it for myself. I've been to the brewery, it is a fine beer. It tasted fine. We sold a couple and I saw a gentleman walking out with one. I told him why it didn't have any "BEST BY" dates on it, or even a bottling date. I told him it was typical for this ONE VERSION of GF. I informed him that if he did not like it that I would buy him something of equal value. Now he is running through cases of 2013 Rayon Vert.

    Green Flash is a great jumping off point for anyone venturing into craft. And, when fresh, it is very enjoyable. I really love the WCIPA (now WCDIPA). But I hope the brewery reads these boards. They certainly need to be AWARE of where old beer is. And if a few thousand bottles (or more) got through the line without the date printed...they need to make an announcement!

    Anywho, what I ended up doing was cutting the "BEST BY" date off the cases of each respectable GF Brew and adhesing them next to the price tags.
    Newport_beerguy likes this.
  28. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Defender (675) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Really want to try the new West Coast, but my beer store still has the old packaging...
  29. Pzellot

    Pzellot Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    I have been thinking alot about lately. Please chime in and let me know your thoughts.

    I've had crappy GF WCIPA more times than good GF WCIPA. Its a shame,cause I like GF WCIPA when fresh but after 3 months or so I think it starts to turn for the worse. I personally think that "Brewed on" dates provide the customer with more specific information than the "Best by" and that any brewer who says that there IPAs, DIPAs or TIPAs are still representing the intended taste 5-6 months after brewing is full of it.

    I guess the "Best by" date is the date that these breweries think thier product is no longer representing thier intentions. After the "Best by" date the brewery considers this beer to be "not best". Breweries that have 5-6 month "Best by" dates are willing to sell sub-par beer within the last few months of the "Best by" date and need those extra months to get rid of the stock (so they dont eat it). Quality vs. Quantity is the question at hand, some breweries limit growth/production/distribution of beer to ensure a high quality product is had by all, others grow to big and over produce/distribute beer, ship it all over the country/world and leave it on shelves for to long not caring about the consumers drinking experience during the last few months of that "Best by" date.
  30. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    I agree, I have been tempted to remove the line from my store but I have a few customers that would just go a few miles down the road if I did that :slight_frown:

    Also, I love recommending the Double Stout to people that are interested in delving deeper into Imperial Stouts. I always suggest they start off with this one. At 8.8abv, it is very drinkable and toughens their tolerance :slight_smile:

    As far as Hop Head Red, I have completely given up trying to find any fresh.
  31. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    WCIPA is also a good IPA for branching out, at least (I guess) with the new packaging...right NOW people will know that what they are drinking is fresh. But by next year, what then? Hopefully they will have started to date their beers by then.
    jrnyc likes this.
  32. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,242) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I skip Green Flash stuff because most of it is old as can be on the shelves. I really like the Green Bullet or whatever it was. Great beer when fresh.

    I also don't really like the "best by" dates for some reason. Sweetwater does it here locally and I've never gotten a real straight answer on how long that date is, and can you assume it was bottled on said date 90 days from the label.

  33. LightnerLiquorKS

    LightnerLiquorKS Devotee (430) Oct 22, 2013 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    I agree with you on the "best by" thing. Especially with IPAs, one really wants to know the brewed on date rather than the latter. And to truly enjoy the essence of mostly all IPAs, you must drink them young, otherwise the hop flavor and aroma degenerates. I can assure you, the easiest products to carry are Tripel/Quadrupel Belgians and RIS :stuck_out_tongue:.

    IPAs are tricky, most people go with the most recognized and acclaimed brands, but the "odds and ends" are the tricky ones to sell. And, lets face it...I am in Kansas. Most of the time people gravitate towards New Belgium and Sam Adams when they are feeling adventurous. However, in the last two years especially, distributors have been GREAT at promoting craft beer on premise at bars, and hosting tastings in our stores. We do our best to get our customers to branch out. ACBW (American Craft Beer Week) this year generated more excitement than it ever has. Year by year, out here in the flyover states learn to appreciate craft beer. Local Breweries (Boulevard, Free State, Tallgrass) have helped immensely of course!

    Wow, kind of got on a tangent there!
  34. WeaponTheyFear

    WeaponTheyFear Aspirant (240) Mar 9, 2008 Connecticut

    I think one of the main problem with "best by" dates on beer are they are used under the assumption that the beer will be refrigerated the entire time it is in the store. I think we all know this is not always the case and there is a difference between an refrigerated IPA and an IPA that has been sitting at room temp.
  35. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Aspirant (259) Feb 14, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Green flash is really a brewery with great beer that is a true rinky dink operation. They will almost never respond to any criticism and while there are beer companies in San Diego that are not even distributed outside of San Diego that have dated their beer, green flash has repeatedly had problems. From their current situation with dates not on the bottle even though it says best by on the label to their old system where the best by date would come off when the beer got cold it's incredible that they make such great tasting beer. They need better management and to make more Silva stout.
  36. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,519) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I think Sculpin suffers from the same fate as Flash, maybe even more so because the pricing point here is ridiculous like $17 a sixer. Also Gordon is this boat too, and they can date and an 8 month old brew is very typical. More disappointing is that Oskar Blues is now made I'm NC, don't see why they have to shovel out old product. I buy local high turnover IPAs or Two Hearted Ale , and nasty old IPAs are a thing of the past. No can date I don't buy when it comes to hoppy brews.
  37. teamwiggum

    teamwiggum Champion (888) Nov 30, 2008 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    And this is why I'm officially done with GF. Let's redesign our label, including a spot SPECIFICALLY FOR SOME SORT OF DATE, and then not print anything.
    Goodbye West Coast IPA, I'll miss you most of all....
  38. Hendry

    Hendry Crusader (774) Mar 8, 2013 Vermont

    Very disappointing buying an "best by 7/31/14" 4 pack of Hop Head Red back in mid May only to discover I was drinking 2-3 month old beer (now that I've figured out their 5 month "freshness" cycle).

    I learned this today when I spotted a four pack in the new packaging with an "best by" date of 11/8/14, so I bought a single for comparison sake. Based on their 5 month "best by" dating, this one was bottled roughly 10 days ago, and delivered what it was supposed to in the way of aroma and flavor. The 4 pack I bought in May was a total waste of money as the hops drop off quickly. Just a heads up to those about to make a Green Flash purchase: look at the "best by" date and realize they are claiming 5 months of freshness, which is a load of crap.
    StLeasy likes this.
  39. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,474) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    love the "BEST BY: [nothing written there]" on this GF IIPA. it just showed up at the store though, so i'm pretty sure it's fresh. tastes good as hell too.
    Hendry likes this.
  40. robear

    robear Defender (676) May 24, 2014 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Here's my take:

    The new labels required new machinery to stamp/print the Best By date on the label. Either Green Flash couldn't get it to work correctly or just didn't want to update their equipment. Either way, it doesn't jive. I'm talking with a buddy who works there to try to get a definitive answer.

    They're 4-packs do tend to sit on the shelves here in Wisconsin, mostly due to price. How do you justify spending $8-9 on a 4-pack of beer from CA when you can pick up a local, fresh 6-pack for about the same price? Or a few bucks more for a sixer of almost any IPA/APA on the shelf (most of which have bottled on or enjoy by dates)?

    When I lived in SD I still had trouble finding fresh GF, unless it was on tap or from the brewery I hardly ever bought it.

    BP Sculpin goes downhill so fast that I wouldn't keep it on the shelf if it was more than 2 months old. And that's for cans. 1.5 months for bottles. Anything beyond that and you risk a total hop fall-out.
    jrnyc and ONovoMexicano like this.
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