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Old 04-02-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
Nov 2008
Jay, Adirondack Mountains, NY
Posts: 2,385
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I think this was recently discussed, but what do you all think about the "use by" date on beer? I just bought a sixer of Harpoon IPA that said to use by 1/15/09, but the brewer in me says that's BS. To my way of thinking, the beer should be fresh even if it was stored at room temp.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
Parker36's Avatar
Sep 2007
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Some beers get better with time, but IPAs generally aren't one of them. They lose a lot of the flavor and aroma of the hops that is such a big part of the style over time. You won't get sick from it or anything, it just won't be "as good" as it can be.

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Old 04-03-2009, 05:28 AM   #3
Oct 2007
Edgewater CO
Posts: 627
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really any beer that is trying to highlight hop flavor and aroma should be drank soon.

it may not be bad aged but it will mellow a lot

typically heavily malted beer will age the best.

the good old american lager has little malt and few hops so if you want any flavor you'd best to drink it fresh.

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Old 04-03-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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If it is a craft brew, it will reflect the brewer's opinion of when a beer is on the downhill. IPAs don't age well. I have a half a case of a very expensive bitter, that used to be an amazing IPA.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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They put that date on there for a reason. It's probably still good, but maybe not as good as it was a few months ago. The store owner probably just doesn't have any way to return older beer, or doesn't know that some beers are better young. (or doesn't want to mess with returning it.

I believe the beer store I frequent sets their older beers in a certain place for the distributor to pick up and take back. I've seen some pretty good names sitting separate in the back and wonder what they are doing back there.

My keg of IPA from a craft brewery is still good enough to drink (now that I am over my sinus infection) but the hops aroma is practically gone, and that is a very distinctive aspect of that beer. Just drinking it to get rid of it now.

I prefer a bottled on date, so I can see how old it is, but many people might not know when the best age is to drink certain beers.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
Nov 2008
York, UK
Posts: 99

Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
My keg of IPA from a craft brewery is still good enough to drink (now that I am over my sinus infection) but the hops aroma is practically gone, and that is a very distinctive aspect of that beer. Just drinking it to get rid of it now.
Are you sure your sinuses are cleared yet?
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Primaries - 5g: Empty; 5l: Empty
Secondaries: Empty
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Barrel 4: Empty
Barrel 5: Empty
Barrel 6: Leaky
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
Oct 2008
West Michigan
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Depends alot on whether you're referring to pasteurized commercial brews, or "live" bottle conditioned brews. In general, the vast majority of commercial beverages are pastuerized or sterile filtrated.... which means they're generally at their peak of freshness as they leave the factory... only to age in a downhill fashion from then on due to outside factors such as temperature and light.

Our "live" brew is generally looked upon as having the ability to age and/or improve in complexity... though it's dependent on the type of beer in question.

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