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According to the marketing collateral belonging to the two companies, however, these two beers be consumed within 150 days (Sierra Nevada) and 120 days (Stone) respectively from the time of packaging.

Stone even highlights on its website the fact that its window of freshness is “among the shortest in the industry,” adding “one of the greatest tragedies for us is when a beer crafted to showcase these hops is left languishing on a shelf for too long as time erodes all of its botanical qualities.”It’s not that brewers don’t want overseas drinkers getting anything less than their best. Using the same best buy codes employed closer to the point of production would only help the illegal gray market flourish.

Beer that purports to have a shelf life of 4-6 months in the U. might have a shelf life of, say, a full calendar year abroad.

In turn, “best by four months from now” yields to “best by this time next year.”And this freshness dichotomy reveals an uncomfortable paradox: Contrary to their own explicitly stated standards, some American breweries are telling international drinkers that beer is fresh past the point it’s deemed fit for consumption at home.

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.

So how can we spot fresh beer, and the best places to buy the freshest beer? Some have a mashup of letters and numbers that seem to be random. Thanks to the Consumerist, we have a little help in uncovering the secret born on date.

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.

Freshness should be forefront in the mind of any craft-beer consumer buying hops-forward beers, since that’s the way the brewer intends for you to taste it.

Anchor couldn't be sensible and use an alphabetical order, so here's a table: The third character may be a letter or number, and indicates which date of the month the beer was bottled.

The letters "A" through "Z" indicate the 1st through the 26th of the month, while the numbers "7", "8", "9", "0", and "1" mark the 27th through the 31st days.

(Regrettably, a large number of breweries don’t offer any date stamps whatsoever, leaving you in the dark about the freshness of their products.) One of the most difficult tasks in checking beer freshness is locating the date code. 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.

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