A question has been stirring in my mind for some time now. The question has also been recently asked by one of my faithful readers, Renee @BQRC23 on Twitter. The question is: Why don’t all beers have at least a “bottled on” date on them? Craft beer fans know that every style of beer is very different. Some beers are meant to be consumed right away, while others are best left to age. As a craft beer drinker, and someone who spends a considerable amount of money buying beers, it would be very helpful if I walked into a store and I was able to look at a bottle to see when it was actually bottled. This would help me make a smarter choice in buying a fresh IPA or a well aged stout and avoiding beers that have simply sat on a shelf too long and are past their prime.
Imagine this scenario: A consumer is looking at moving away from drinking Bud Light/Miller Lite and trying to get into the world of craft beers. That consumer walks into a store and picks up a 6 pack of an IPA with no “bottled on” or “best by” date. What the consumer didn’t know was that 6 pack sat on the shelf for over a year and is now past its prime. The consumer drinks it, hates it, and now has a tainted view of craft beer and especially of that particular brewer. All of this could have easily been avoided if the brewer simply put a “bottled on” or a “drink by” date on the bottle.
I would think that a brewery spending a lot of money on making a beer would want the consumer to drink it the way that the brewer had intended. I would also think that they would also do everything in their power to convey the best public image of their beer as possible.
Everyone knows beer is something that is consumable and can and will eventually go bad. Think about all of the consumable products in your house that have expiration dates. Milk, juice, various foods…heck even BUD LIGHT has a “Born on Date” printed right on the bottle!
If you are reading this and agree that all beers should have either a “bottled on” or a “best by” date printed on them please leave a comment on this thread to show your support. I urge you to please forward the link to this post to other lovers of craft beer too so we can spread this message. Also, if you are really passionate about what I have said, please send the link to this thread to brewers who are still not putting dates on their bottles and let them know you agree with what I have said. Maybe with enough feedback they will make a simple change, that would make a world of difference in the craft beer community.
Brad of Cleveland Food and Brews!