Will Stone's "Enjoy By' Series influence other brewers re: freshness dating?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by yemenmocha, Jan 30, 2013.


How will Stone's ENJOY BY affect freshness dating in the craft beer market?

  1. Big positive - more breweries will be pressured to use dating

    31 vote(s)
  2. Some positive impact, but not much

    119 vote(s)
  3. No positive impact

    40 vote(s)
  1. klaybie

    klaybie Nov 15, 2009 Illinois

    As much as I want it to impact things (positively) I don't think it will. We didn't get Enjoy by until about 20 days before the ''expiration'' date. If we want things to change it will have to come more from the distributors than the breweries, who can only ask the distro's to get the product out sooner but not control it. I think we, as consumers, would have a larger impact than the breweries.
  2. fmccormi

    fmccormi Oct 24, 2010 Maine
    Beer Trader

    So Flower Power is definitely three months? I sometimes hear three or four months, and then not all bottles are the same. Most have notches, but I swear others I've seen have ink printed dates, it's all confusing.
  3. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Besides the fact that the notch is only on a month (not the first week, a middle week or last week, etc) the confusion, I think, also comes from the fact that the label says "Best Before" the month notched. In other words, if it's notched for May, Ithaca recommends that you drink the beer by the end of April.

    And that's how the current case I have works out- Bottled on 1/28/13, Best Before May notched - so I've got approx. 3 months to drink it - Feb, March, April.

    The "3 months" (or maybe it's techincally "120 days"?) has also been confirmed on the old forums by an Ithaca employee.
    cavedave likes this.
  4. fmccormi

    fmccormi Oct 24, 2010 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Yeah. It's weird. I swear I've seen printed ink dating on their bottles, though. Haven't seen them in a while, which is a shame. Hard to get fresh Flower Power around here.
  5. char005

    char005 Feb 24, 2011 Pennsylvania

    everyone talking about 12-12-12 is probalbly referring to the vertical epic with that release date, which is not an IPA to be consumed fresh. Meant to be ageable actually. The other release was 12-21-12 for the Enjoy By series. Enjoy By sells out real quick.
  6. RockAZ

    RockAZ Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Considerable risk is an exaggeration on one beer label on one special promo, perhaps not so much if it becomes hundreds all the time. I remember when Coors first hit the shelves in the '70's, that beer would really go bad quick as at the time it was still "unpasteurized" if I have the term right. Whatever, that stuff really stank after a year. As for the distributors being responsible you are correct they have the responsibility for the freshness issue, but it is a subtle difference in responsibility when the bottle label screams "Turns to Sh!t by this DATE" and when it just shows the bottling date. Why set up a situation where the retailer has to demand satisfaction when he bought too much of a fragile thing? Sure, I expect this from fresh produce, but not my beers, I can/will/do take a chance on old dates on a wide variety of beer styles and have enjoyed the experience.

    "jesskidden" , you and I are not really disagreeing on our mutual preferences for fresh beer over stale. When I must have fresh beer I go to one of the local breweries on kegging day and take one home. Bottles, eh - sometimes I have had to settle for what's there, and for the last few years have not been disappointed in what my Tucson, AZ retail stores have on offer. And can I assume at least we both agree that all bottles should have a bottling date clearly marked on it? To allow the consumer to make a decision for themselves (and share it here), on when the beer becomes past its prime?

    Last bit - I like to order kegs from Belgium and the incredibly high cost of steel/aluminum keggery transport demands another option and they are offering disposable/one-way kegs. The food grade "plastics" are bio-degradable and encased in cardboard boxes - check them out, I think they are "Green", or as much as the absurdity of hauling such a decadent 1st World product halfway around the world can be.
  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Coors was one of the US pioneers of the "micro-filter/sterile fill" (what Miller went on to call "Cold Filtering", their trademarked term) method of packaging as an alternative to pasteurization. They even did the earliest work on the aluminum beer can in the US in the late '50's as part of that research. When they were still "regional" (west of the Miss.) they did have one of the shortest shelf-life periods - 60 days - at a time when most US brewers were using 90-120 days. No US brewer of the era would have used 1 year back then.

    Coors also required their distributors to keep the beer refrigerated and also "requested" it of their retailers (with mixed results). Most sources suggest that those requirements were overly cautious, enacted by the older generation of Coors management (one more concerned with quality than expansion, perhaps?). Coors Banquet is supposedly still not pasteurized (Depending on the brand, MillerCoors beers may be heat-pasteurized or cold-filtered and sterile-filled- "How We Brew" MillerCoors) but the beer now uses the MillerCoors "17 weeks" shelf life period for their standard domestic beers as I understand it.
  8. RockAZ

    RockAZ Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    17 weeks seems like a short time when comparing it to some of the craft beer dates I have come across. Again, a lot of those craft bottles I buy are over 7% which should have longer best buy dates, but still - 17 weeks? This history is interesting to me, more research is needed.

    Found this link - enjoy https://sites.google.com/site/freshbeeronly/u-s-breweries
    From looking at the info here, it looks like many brewers who recommend any pull by date use 90-140 days. Most quotes on this link do not state their pull dates.

    Ex: "Coors: Uses a freshness code that you'll see on every bottle and can. The code tells the last day the beer should be available for sale from retailers, bars, and restaurants. We call this the product's "pull date." For example, if the code on a bottle or can of a Coors product reads "NOV14 111B" or "NOV1411132B", then November 14 is the day the product should be removed from a retailer's shelves and no longer be sold to consumers. All Coors "pull dates" fall on a Sunday—that's how you can determine the year the product was packaged. In our example, the product should have been pulled from the shelves on Sunday, November 14, 2004."
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That's Papat444's website and the Coors info appears to date from before the MillerCoors merger (the year "2004" in the example). See MillerCoor's own pdf, page 7, for their current dating methods and pull date shelf life periods- MilllerCoors Codes, which notes:
    (Maybe a retailer on BA can confirm Coors Banquet's 17 weeks dating.)

    17 weeks is basically the same as AB's standard "120 days" for most of their regular line-up, and was pretty common for most pre-craft US breweries, as well.
  10. rxeight

    rxeight Feb 5, 2012 Illinois

    I really hope that it encourages places to just date their bottles. Freshness is key for any IPA. I wont buy unless less than a month old. Makes a big difference.
  11. RockAZ

    RockAZ Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    re: Coors' 1970-80's era shelf life date coding:

    --- from A Hatfull (sic) of Questions about Coors, Adolph Coors Company, 1982​
  13. RockAZ

    RockAZ Jan 6, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    And that was good beer during that era, with its double-bubble pop-top. That was refreshing beer and sadly, either their recipe or my tastebuds have changed since I cannot stand it now.
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