Upset with Lagunitas...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by peteboiler, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (176) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    It has been said before, and I will say it again. Lagunitas, PLEASE find a way to put a date on your products. Just went through Hurricane Irma (I am lucky and fortunate and alive, and am in no way whining about my situation), and craved a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. Only one store has it available regularly, and they are more or less on point with freshness, so I drove over there and picked up a sixer hoping it was fresh. Date was not visibly shown anywhere (Hate the Julian date, but am intelligent enough to calculate in my head when it was brewed.) Problem was, the date wasn't visible. I took a chance. FLAT AS HELL. No aroma. No taste. Awful. So I just wanted to vent because this is the place where I can do that. Is it my fault for making the purchase? Yes. Is it my fault for not making it easier for consumers to know if their beer is fresh. Hell no.
  2. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,082) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Let the store know. First step.
  3. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (230) Jun 4, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    That date is notoriously difficult to read
    You need either backlighting or white background with good front lighting
    Plus it's printed right below the fill line
  4. Mugaipa

    Mugaipa Initiate (108) Aug 28, 2017 Connecticut

    Gave up on them a long time ago. Any brewer that goes to this length to hide their dates--and they are always old here--doesn't deserve my business.
    beertrip, meb3476, SuperWhip and 6 others like this.
  5. Bryan12345

    Bryan12345 Disciple (358) Mar 17, 2016 Texas

    Lagunitas? Chant with me:

    O - VER - RATE - ED (clap clap clap-clap-clap)!
  6. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (1,954) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    High Westified and Born Yesterday and the other "one hitters" will keep me coming back as I know when they're new and most all are great.

    And I said it before...make Hop Stupid and Sucks 1x per year seasonal releases please. Then I'll know when they are fresh and will actually by a sixer or more per year. Right now they are lucky to get a single 12oz bottle risk-buy every year or 2 from me for anythign that is annually distributed..
    BSW, Gemini6, DonObiWan and 3 others like this.
  7. zid

    zid Champion (800) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Only on BeerAdvocate can you have a person who just went through a hurricane vent about IPA freshness. :slight_smile:
  8. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (893) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    The ironic thing about that is when the bottle is empty and it is too late it is easy to see! I gave up on Lagunitas because of this issue. I will buy Born Yesterday because it is awesome and I don't have to worry about the date, but can't tell you last time I bought anything else Lagunitas.
    beertrip, cavedave and GetMeAnIPA like this.
  9. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (893) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Exactly, they don't care about me as a consumer, no reason for me to care about them.
    cavedave, ElijahSF and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  10. AandNBrewing

    AandNBrewing Initiate (112) Jun 14, 2016 Virginia

    I don't have a problem finding the date on their bottles. If I didn't know the bottling date I wouldn't have bought it.
  11. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (1,831) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    OP As someone else said, contact your store and let them know the beer was flat. Also, you can contact Lagunitas. "Flat as hell" doesn't sound like its just a freshness issue ...
    Sponan, LeRose, alucard6679 and 8 others like this.
  12. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,692) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Contact Neil Patrick Harris.
    Didn't he promise to refund anyone who wasn't happy with their Heineken?
  13. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,158) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I won't defend their method of bottle dating since it is Julian and makes me look like I have a disorder (quiet peanut gallery) when I am in a store twisting and bending with my arm stretched out towards the ceiling lights, but if it didn't actually have any, I wouldn't have bought it.

    Too many great beers to piss around with non dated bottles/cans. There is only one beer I buy anymore without dates and that is only if I see the stamped case it came in or get it from my friends store where he can tell me when it was delivered.
    Averwo, SammyJaxxxx, cavedave and 5 others like this.
  14. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (947) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    gimme Sucks and a few of their seasonal/rotating good beers and i'm good

    their whole dating system annoys me plus the fact that their beer sits on the shelf forever. i rarely see fresh Sucks anymore, when i do i'll grab a case
    highdesertdrinker likes this.
  15. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (557) Mar 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    What I don't get and what drives me crazy is they are putting the date on already just change up ink color or location. They already have machinery. Would it be that difficult, this is coming from someone who has never worked on a bottling line so I have no idea, but really how difficult can it be?
  16. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,028) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    German corporate overlords only care about $$$. I reached out regarding new dogtown and got no reply, my guess is you're going to have the same luck.
    SammyJaxxxx and FFFjunkie like this.
  17. scream

    scream Disciple (346) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I know people here have issues w their bottle dating system because they cannot figure out when it was bottled.

    My perspective is that they make good and sometimes exceptional beers. I think the freshness thing is way out of proportion to whether a beer is good or not. That beer was bottled 6 wks. ago, hmm maybe I better pass. Probably the real issue is to know who you are buying from and how they handle their stock.

    Keep on putting out good beers Lagunitas !
  18. Amateurbrewmaster

    Amateurbrewmaster Initiate (176) Feb 5, 2016 New York

    I had the same issue. Their 12 pack of 12th of Never doesn't have a date on the package that I could see. I bought a 12er from them and it was about a year old and it tasted like garbage. I almost flipped out. That shouldn't happen! I told them about it and they said they were sending a rep to the store to educate them on rotating their beers, but it was still so off putting. They need stricter quality control and better dating systems.
    peteboiler and jrnyc like this.
  19. babaracas

    babaracas Poo-Bah (1,790) Jan 30, 2008 Florida

    Hold it up to the light in the store. You look dumb, sure, but WE know you are being smart! Don't buy if you can't see the code. Yeah it's lame they haven't improved this system with their Heinebux.

    btw, pretty sure the 12th of never stovepipe 6 pack (laughably cheaper per oz than the 12 pack of 12s) has the date stamped right on the box in a normcore date format
  20. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,533) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    ^ This.

    While I sympathize with your experience, this doesn't sound like a freshness issue to me. I once purchased some sculpin that was almost a year old (and my bad totally for not doing a better job checking the "best by" date), and the carbonation was still fine.

    "Flat as hell and no aroma" makes me think the beer was stored improperly or underwent some other storage or transportation problem. I would contact the store and tell them about your experience (and maybe bring by any remaining beer from your 6 pack). I would think a reputable store would either give you a refund or give you a fresh sixer. I realize that's probably not making you feel any better about your experience at this point, but it's better than nothing.

    Glad to hear you made it through Irma OK. Best of luck, and hopefully your next bottle of HS will taste a whole hell of a lot better than your last one.
  21. dlcarst

    dlcarst Aspirant (250) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Agree, and I rarely buy Lagunitas anymore because of it.
    GuyFawkes, HoppingMadMonk and jrnyc like this.
  22. donspublic

    donspublic Meyvn (1,191) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Beer Trader

    said it once, will say it again. I know I look like a big douche bag when I walk into the local ice house and start pouring thru the bottles and holding them up to the light, I usually put them back in the cooler because they are too old. I think the distributor dumps old shit on them because they just started carrying craft. I usually end up with a local beer or coors banquet.
    TriggerFingers likes this.
  23. Hoppedelic

    Hoppedelic Aspirant (212) Dec 6, 2010 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    You guys are blind. I've never had a problem reading the bottled on day on Lagunitas beers. It's printed at the same spot on every single bottle. Save the complaining for the breweries who don't do it.
    AandNBrewing likes this.
  24. i_run_far

    i_run_far Initiate (54) Aug 11, 2016 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    I'd say you're in the minority if you've never had trouble finding/reading the date on a Lagunitas bottle. Other than Sam Adams and their antiquated notching system, I can't think of another brewing company that is remotely close to the same size as Lagunitas who isn't clearly printing dates on their products, either using light colored ink or printing on the label (Stone, NB, SN, OB, BP, Bells, Founders, Deschutes, Green Flash/Alpine, DFH, etc).
    meefmoff, GuyFawkes, tlema1 and 5 others like this.
  25. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,028) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Deschutes has that perfected. The sad part is I can't find a fresh sixer of mirror pond to save my life. I haven't had it in years because every time I look it's all over a year old.
    GuyFawkes likes this.
  26. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (493) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Their date code is right on the fill line. Kind of annoying. True. But.
    A quick flick of the bottle should get some CO2 to come out of solution and give you a look which solves both of your problems next time you crave some Hop Stoopid.
    drtth likes this.
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,260) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    :thinking_face: Heineken was founded and is still headquartered in Amsterdam, and the Dutch Heineken family still retains about 50% ownership of the corporation. Among their current leadership, lots of Dutch, French, Belgian, Mexican (via FEMSA, probably) executives a few from the US, UK, Poland, etc. no Germans that I see.:smiley:
    #27 jesskidden, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  28. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,439) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Better local options anyway. There's a difference with clearly bottle dating and putting dates or codes in places which makes it difficult to find or read. Oh yes we date it, you just have to find it and figure out the code. Sucks is case dated I believe, so once it's broken down it's difficult. This vs Wicked Weed clearly putting a bottling date, on turning a Buriel upside down and there clear as a bell is a canning date. I'm not jumping thru hoops to figure it out anymore.
    jrnyc likes this.
  29. ingchr1

    ingchr1 Aspirant (278) Jun 4, 2008 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Date code and selling out alone probably wouldn't have stopped me from buying, but what has are some of the posts by its founder along the way.
  30. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Aspirant (280) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Wouldn't the simplest answer be to petition for a law that forces all brewers to put a bottling date on their product similar to a milk expiration date?
    GuyFawkes and nc41 like this.
  31. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,094) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Not really.

    That would require changes in 51 different sets of laws (including DC). Even the milk expiration date you mention, if it exists at all, is a state level law and does not exist at the Federal level.
  32. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Aspirant (280) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Okay, the beer drinking population can continue to write nastigrams to 4,000 plus individual brewers rather than notes to petition 51 sets of laws.
    GuyFawkes likes this.
  33. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,094) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well, I don't know about you, but personally I have found that it is easier to have an impact on the breweries than on a state legislature.

    But you should certainly feel free to go ahead and lead the charge for getting all 51 sets of laws changed. (If that's what floats your boat.)
    #33 drtth, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  34. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,439) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Well to be honest it's not all that important if they all do, the fact is some do and those are the ones you buy. If you don't buy they won't make money and they'll be stuck with old beer they can't sell. That's how you get clear canning dates, back the beer up into the brewery.
  35. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (187) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Sometimes it's the best value gas station/supermarket beer around. At $8 a sixer for IPA, $9 for other varieties, it's often worth the short-lived pain of locating/calculating the Julian date.
    pjeagles and Gemini6 like this.
  36. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (1,831) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    My understanding though is that Lagunitas does date their bottles its just hard to read. So thats not really the issue here.

    Also, dating machines can be very cost prohibitive, especially for small(er) breweries so that would be a major issues you'd have to deal with in trying to push a regulation whether at the state level or federal level. Not excusing old beer - but there are repercussions to how this is handled.

    Finally with any discussion of freshness you have to include the distributor in the discussion - in my experience they tend to be the worst offender against beer freshness of the tiers.

    That being said, again, with this particular situation with the OP - I highly doubt this is a freshness issue alone. He's not complaining that the hops tasted off he said it was flat and thats not just a freshness issue alone.

    @HouseofWortship, @drtth, @nc41
  37. ISpendTooMuchOnBeer

    ISpendTooMuchOnBeer Initiate (61) Oct 29, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Just goes to show you how seriously we take our beer. Arguably more serious than we take our natural disasters. Hell, I can't blame the guy. IPA freshness is a top priority.
  38. threeviews

    threeviews Zealot (541) Apr 18, 2011 New Jersey

    Although difficult, reading Lagunitas date codes from the bottle isn't impossible. If the mothercarton is within sight, the date code is also printed on the exterior (top right, long side).

    However, a simple change to the ink color like blue (Weyerbacher) or yellow (Dogfish head) or on the label itself (Founders) would make our beer purchasing lives much easier.

    As for what Lagunitas calls their year-round beers...they do not all share the same visibility. Aunt Sally, New Dogtown Pale and Imperial Stout are never seen in my area in NJ. It is also a very, VERY rare occasion to see PILS and 12th Of Never on the shelf.

    Thankfully, they stopped the quart-sized bottles of Sucks...that was just a disaster marketing campaign (although their latest One Hitter - Sakitumi was recently released in this format. Since it uses rice, it is an Ale version of a Malt Liquor known to be packaged in similar vessels).
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,260) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Hunterdon distributes Lagunitas side-wide in NJ. If your retailer carries any Lagunitas I can't imagine that Hunterdon would refuse to sell them any other available Lagunitas beers, regardless of the particular region of the state. If you don't see 'em, it's the retailer(s) fault for not ordering them.

    I've see all of the above in central Jersey.

    Huh? Can you explain that better?
    cavedave likes this.
  40. Giantspace

    Giantspace Zealot (514) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I don't buy Lagunitas much anymore. Love the 12th but it's always old and it's pretty expensive. Not seen dogtown in many moons. I bought a case of hi west last November I think and a six of fresh stoopid when it was released. That's it. I like Sally and daytime but $40 plus a case is too much.

    Anyhow the dates are easy to find on case , 12 or single. I like the beer but there is better at less $.

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