Gallo's has one subsidiary making wine coolers (Bartles & Jaymes) and another making draft ciders (Hornsby's Pubdrafts, Ltd.). Bottles have a Julian date (year trailing) on their cap.
Cases, on the other hand, have a "MM-DD-YY" on the Beer Advocate.com's Jason Alström tipped me off about Sierra Nevada's bottling dates (which are stamped on the shoulder of Sierra's bottles: The first four digits are a YDDD date (that is, Julian date, year-leading.
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.
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.
On cans, most date codes are printed on the bottom—and in the case of Oskar Blues, there’s even a special phrase or witty message.Like all the rest of the things we drink and eat, there's a Best By attached to beer, and as vigilant beer consumers, we should stay on top of it. Mc Donnell suggests that you look for "bottled on" dates: "Different beers, of course, age differently but a good rule of thumb is that beer will taste best in it's first 30 days in a bottle and taste real gnarly after 90." Unfortunately, not all beers have these super-helpful dates.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.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.