Deciphering the Beer Codes (In this episode; Corona Extra) | Food & Drink
Neil Fisher Jun 27, – 6 min read. While the rapid growth of craft beer has created a dynamic and constantly evolving marketplace with beers rotating faster than ever on store shelves, in some retail shops, beers still have a tendency to sit on shelves past their prime. To help ensure a consistent experience for all consumers within their distribution footprint, some breweries use date codes. But, because there are no standards or requirements for indicating beer age, each brewery employs its own method for dating its beers. One of the most difficult tasks in checking beer freshness is locating the date code. First, check the label. Breweries such as Sierra Nevada, Great Divide, and Odell clearly print the date code on a specific section of the label, which is often the same for all product lines. For bottles, date codes are often printed on the neck or shoulder the section just above the label. These codes are easiest to identify when they are printed in yellow or white ink on the bottle, but black or dark ink is not uncommon, so hold the bottle up to a light source to help you find the code.
Heineken red-faced after US Star Bottle blunder
That suits Laz Luis, beer director of the two-unit retailer, as Sparrow keeps most of its beer refrigerated anyway. Sparrow and a growing number of retailers now insist on keeping most—if not all—of their beer selection chilled. Luis attributes the practice to the styles of beer that are popular today, such as hoppy IPAs, that are best when continuously chilled.
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You get concerned because it was bottled about 3 months ago and you start to wonder if it is still good. We want to buy beer that is going to taste good. There are many factors that go into which beer I decide to take home and freshness is rarely high on the list until I see a date printed on the can or bottle. Then it becomes the most important factor. A premium is paid to drink craft beer so we should demand that it tastes as the brewer intended.
First things first, before you try to determine if a beer is still drinkable, you must first know where to find a date on the bottle or can. On bottles, it can be on the label or neck of the bottle. Warning, dates printed onto a bottle are often hard to read. For cans, it is almost always on the bottom. Sierra Nevada has a great online resource explaining how to find and read their dating.
Check it out here.
Hopefully we can answer your questions below. If not, feel free to email us. We are happy to fill any and all Karl Strauss branded with the liquid of your choice. We will also fill any 32oz, 1 liter, 64oz, or 2 liter blank or non-brewery branded growler as well.
Here’s how to find and decipher breweries’ date codes on bottles and cans of to read because they often take the form of Julian dates (a number between .
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This information is located on the bottom of the cans, laser etched on the bottle, or placed on the outside of the package 12, 18 pack etc. As a world traveler, first while in the US Marine Corps and later when on company business, I was always disappointed when my favorite beers did not taste the same from country to country or in the USA from city to city.
In some cases, beer that was meant to be consumed within five months was being sold in stores and served in bars and restaurants when two years old or older! After becoming obsessed with always finding my favorite beers at the age where I thought they tasted best; and as a hobby, deciphering the codes of all the beers I came in contact with through friends and family, I started keeping a log of the manufacturers and their particular product codes. From time to time the codes would change due to industry consolidation and microbreweries discovering their responsibilities as it relates to labeling laws etc.
› /11/12 › date-code-confusion.
So you dig a little further until you find the problem. While it may be easy to blame the problem on uneducated consumers, I can tell you personally that a I buy a lot of hoppy beers, b I always seek out date coding to buy the freshest beer possible and c I too occasionally end up with a bad case of out-of-date-beer. Why does it matter? Packaging dates that are prominently displayed would highlight the freshness advantage of craft beer and also highlight how much the brewers care about their product.
In Pennsylvania, our distributors can sell any format from cases to single bottles, so many times a case that may arrive with a date on the cardboard case, gets split up into formats that have no date coding visible. Even 4-Packs of 16oz cans are many times packaged in cardboard carriers that are no longer associated with the original case dating, and the individual can dating is blocked by the 4-pack cardboard. With that in mind, it seems like now would be a very good time for craft beer consumers to begin to demand a more standardized format for dating beer.
Personally I think the preferred format would be to always include the packaging date. The packaging date also need to be prominent visually AND in a common location across all packaging.
In the Golden Age of IPAs, Consumers Deserve Clearer Bottle-Dating
That mysterious extra white layer on the Cheddar? A sure sign it needs to be put out of its misery. Chunky milk? Down the drain it goes. But what about that jar of olives or Maraschino cherries that has resided in your refrigerator since before the birth of your kindergartner? Or the innumerable nonedibles lurking deep within your cabinets and closets: stockpiled shampoo and toothpaste, seldom-used silver polish?
continues its work to promote beer freshness with an updated “packaged-on” date printed on year-round and seasonal 12 and 24 ounce bottles.
Most beer bottles have some sort of date on them, but figuring out what they mean can be a bit confusing. Many brewers will buy these bottles back from a retailer a full retail price, so there is no reason to keeping old beer on the shelf. For many years A-B recommended a shelf life of days, but a few years ago extended that to days. While getting a beer as fresh as possible is great, aged beer can be pretty wonderful , so which beer should you pick up from the store?
Well aging beer is unfortunately not as simple as letting a beer sit on a store shelf. Beer only ages correctly under the proper conditions. Usually this means a cool, dry place around degrees Fahrenheit away from any direct light; so basically the opposite of a store shelf. Additionally, not all beer ages well. The long and short of it is that you should probably pay attention to dates on bottles, and try to pick up the freshest beer you can. Try to avoid any bottle at the store with dust on it, that way you can age it yourself properly if you want and ensure it will mature the right way.
How fresh is your beer?
This is a simple calendar conversion utility that displays a given date according to five different standards: Gregorian , Julian , Hebrew , Islamic , and Persian i. In the Hebrew case, the year is also listed according to the Seleucid era. For the benefit of historians of the later medieval and early modern Persianate world, this page further indicates the animal year in which the given date falls.
Beer lovers increasingly favor ultra-fresh beer, but confusing labels don’t it uses Julian dating, so that, for example, the number “ 7” would.
Yes, there are some delicious exceptions to the mantra, but most styles are best consumed fresh. Acquiring beer directly from the brewery is the best way to insure your pint is at its best. No longer are we waddling down the street with steel pails of beer from the saloon, rushing the growler like a 19th century child so that one can enjoy draught beer at home.
We have all the conveniences of modern technology that allow us to safely and efficiently bring home our favorite brew in cans and bottles. Date codes! If only it were so simple as a momentary glance at the side of the can or bottle to determine if the contents were fit for consumption. For some packaging, it IS that simple.
But there are many more leaving my head cocked to the side and my mind twisted with calculations of barely legible letters and numbers.
Is This Beer Fresh?
We are excited to present consumers and our fans with a premium drinking experience enjoyed freshly from the tap for their enjoyment. As the 6 th Generation of the Yuengling family, we continue to listen to our fans, and we saw an opportunity to deliver a Yuengling beer that touches on our years of brewing excellence, while delighting our fans with something uniquely from PA.
We are delighted to bring consumers and fans the opportunity to savor and indulge with this new limited-time only collaboration. We have been brewing Yuengling Dark Brewed Porter for over years, and we plan to continue to deliver this fan-favorite brew to consumers. The unique, limited-edition brew has an ABV of 4.
Just google Julian date for a conversion calendar. The first link is weird, for keeping track of days since the beginning of the Julian Calendar.
It’s not such a bad thing, though, mainly because my mania is centered on IPAs. On the contrary, I crave more IPAs than ever, gusting with fragrances of tropical fruit and smoother than a jar of Skippy. The ascent of IPAs has put a premium on previously utilitarian date codes. Date codes doubled as unspoken communication between brewery and distributor, signals for when ancient beer should be snatched from shelves. To the layman it looks like hieroglyphics.
The Julian date is composed of the year and day of the year; Lagunitas writes November 17, , as 6. But not everyone fully entrusts distributors with being the freshness police.
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This easily readable date code helps better inform wholesalers, retailers and consumers of the freshness of Sierra Nevada beer, ensuring only the highest quality product is in the marketplace. We want our fans to taste our beer like it was meant to be tasted—full of the bold flavor and aroma of fresh malt and whole-cone hops. Sierra Nevada has long printed bottling codes on all of its beers, mainly for internal brewery reference. This method, while accurate, was difficult to decipher for many consumers.
These changes will take place mid-April, and for a brief period, consumers may see a mixture of date codes in the market until everything is transferred to the new format. Some specialty products—those containing a higher alcohol content, high percentage of roasted grains, stronger beers brewed in the Belgian tradition, and barrel-aged products—can benefit from a longer storage time.
How to Read Julian Dates. Julian dates (JD) are a continuous count of days since noon Universal Time on January 1, BC. Astronomers often use Julian.
But there are other safety purposes that are not as well understood, that are a direct result of the events of September 11, This is simply the date that the beer was bottled or canned and the date where most breweries start their stopwatch in the interest of freshness. This can vary with style, with hoppy beers having small windows, and large stouts having much longer windows but, by in large, days is the norm.
Their technical committee is involved in supporting the quality of all craft beer through education and recommended practices. Not only is this required by law, but it also serves an important public safety function. Date and lot coding can take several forms but the Brewers Association recommends that each brewery use a legible best by or packaging date code that is understandable to the customer.
Sierra Nevada Ditches Julian Dating for Packaged-On Coding
One topic that often pops up during a round of beer-drinking-and-talking is getting burned by buying brews that are malingering on shelves looooong past their freshness window and even the best beer stores have old stock hanging around. K nowing when the beer was made is vital knowledge, particularly for those mega-popular, mega-hopped IPAs; the aromas, flavor and bitterness drop off quickly.
Some codes are printed on the glass and are easily smudged; others are on the label but are near-impossible to read, overlapping with the imagery and label copy. Even worse: Some codes are only stamped on the case, not the individual containers. Most consumers have no idea what those letters and numbers mean. The second character is always alpha and represents the month by using the first letter of the month unless that letter has already been used.
Dating, Beer, Heineken, Ale, Root Beer, Quotes, Relationships, Dates. More information. Saved by. Joseph-Ramiro Macias-Perez.
June 29th, , would be You also are able to get the Calendar Date from the Julian Date. This will provide you the number of days from the first of the year. Or you provide a date and it will count out the days. Works best for those who use applications that require that type of accounting. This latest version is the best.