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Why It’s Important To Check Bottle Dates

Old Goose Island Summetime

I’ve made the mistake before. It’s a hot weekend and I’m rushing to the supermarket because I desperately need a cold one. I quickly browse the ridiculously small selection of beer I actually want to drink and grab a six pack. There is nothing quite as disappointing as finally getting to crack open that beer and having it be stale and way past its prime.

I almost made that same mistake this past weekend, but I stopped to think before I rushed to grab my beer and go. I’m a huge fan of Kolsch style beers and really enjoy Goose Island’s Summertime. I got excited when I spotted it on the shelf at my local Foodland and went straight for it. Then my senses kicked in. It’s March. Summer seasonals haven’t even come out on the mainland. Something didn’t seem right and it wasn’t.

Many breweries now include on their labels a bottled on date or a best by date to help the consumer know if the beer they are buying is fresh or not. I normally check out the dates for any hoppy beer I buy because I want them to be as fresh as we can get them in Hawaii. Just because we’re in Hawaii doesn’t mean that we can’t get beer shipped quickly and fresh. The recent release of Sierra Nevada Single Hop IPA was only two and a half weeks old when we got it here in Hawaii according to the bottle on date.

So as I stood in Foodland thinking about how awesome a crisp, light and refreshing Koslch would taste on a Sunday afternoon I was hugely disappointed when I saw the bottled on date – 2/15/13. That’s over a year old! This is a beer that is not meant to age. After a year of sitting on trains, trucks, boats, distribution warehouses and warm supermarket storage this beer is far from its prime and starts to develop a tart off flavor (yes I tried it – previously mentioned mistake).

If you ever get the chance to try Reissdorf Kolsch fresh on draft it is a thing of beauty. Goose Island Summertime is a fantastic beer as well, but not when it’s over a year old. Most major breweries (macro, micro, craft, non craft – you choose your definition) now include bottle dating. It’s so important for us the consumers to look at the dates to insure that we are buying the freshest beer possible. Old beer should be pulled from shelves. I’m sure there are lots of reasons why there is still surplus inventory of this beer, but that isn’t my problem as a consumer. You’re not going to convince many people to come back and buy this beer again when their first experience is horrible because the beer was so old.

Anyway, long rant, but it’s really worth paying attention to bottle dates. We live in a warm climate far away from where most of our beer is produced so things tend to go bad quicker here. Buy fresh, buy often. Unless you’re buying that extra bottle of Mirror Mirror to stash away for a few years.

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3 thoughts on “Why It’s Important To Check Bottle Dates

  1. Great reminder… I recently did a similar thing with Hoegaarden, but noticed the best before date was 6 months past when I got it home. Thankfully I could return it, but it was the last one…

    Great blog!

    Like

  2. Fresh beer absolutely matters!!

    Thank You, Jemma Wilson

    Media & Marketing Assistant Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (805) 225-5911 x 631 Facebook.com/FirestoneWalker Twitter & Instagram: @FirestoneWalker [cid:CED4F343-9909-47E8-8D83-C5F2658ECD47]

    From: Beer In Hawaii <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Beer In Hawaii <comment+_6qiufs6p3s27kvksc2nnd3@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:27:19 +0000 To: Jemma Wilson <jwilson@firestonebeer.com> Subject: [New post] Why Its Important To Check Bottle Dates

    Hale Brew posted: ” I’ve made the mistake before. It’s a hot weekend and I’m rushing to the supermarket because I desperately need a cold one. I quickly browse the ridiculously small selection of beer I actually want to drink and grab a six pack. There is nothing quite a”

    Like

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