Lagunitas freshness dating
The past few weeks have seen me squinting at bottling codes in badly lit shops and regretting almost every beer I’ve bought in a restaurant.It’s also made me think a lot about the one indication that we usually have to give us an idea of how fresh it is – best before dates.Just like with milk and bread, the best before end date is just an indication of when you should consume something by.It’s not an announcement of the date that the item in question will become toxic and kill you.
On opening, it was a revelation – floral, fruity and complex.Kegs are one thing, but bottles and cans are a completely different matter.From the last two weeks of my being hyperaware, there are things you can do: drink beer that doesn’t need to be fresh; avoid beer in restaurants and anywhere else if it needs to be drunk fresh and you can’t check the BBE/bottling date before buying; only shop at retailers you know are obsessive about their beers and will maintain correct shipping and storage conditions; only buy imported beer from producers/distributors that you know are actively concerned about the condition of the beer at point of sale – Pete Brissenden from The Bottle Shop tweeted in response to my last post that they are currently building a full cool chain and already ship beer cold from the USA, so folks are definitely doing it; drink more local beer in keg, can and bottle; or not care so much about the freshness of your beer.We can, although working out the time limit has an added level of difficulty – how the beers are treated during their journey to our hands.
After my last post, Rich Dillon from Lagunitas – International Business Manager and Beer Guzzler – contacted me and asked which shops I’d got my older beers from, so he could get a local sales rep to look into it.
I’m going to do a bit of all of them, including the not caring – sometimes I want a beer when I’m out for dinner.