So, what's up with the "freshness date"? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Commercial Brew Discussion > So, what's up with the "freshness date"?

Thread Tools
Old 07-02-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
Jun 2009
Posts: 62

It seems that we should keep our beer bottled longer to help it finish... so why is it that the commercial beers have a "freshness date". If the seal hasn't been broken, why wouldn't it be "fresh"?


Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
Why that human mask?
pompeiisneaks's Avatar
Jan 2009
Redmond, WA
Posts: 853
Liked 52 Times on 29 Posts

I think its really because they're not kept in a nice warm cellar and some don't have nice brown bottles to keep out sunlight etc, so if they're fresher they taste better. Also from what I know, aging beer a really long time is really only good for some types. I'm not an expert, but usually the big beers etc. In actuality after you've gotten past the "green beer" phase, beer is best consumed as soon as possible after that point. If not, it can get too much light exposure, etc and get skunked.
Fermenting/Kegged/Bottled NONE :( I moved to the NW and haven't had time to setup my brew rig since! (but hey, I'm in the Pacific NW so there's so much awesome beer I don't need to brew it as much hah!

Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,750
Liked 147 Times on 119 Posts

I have also heard that because the beer has had all the yeast filtered out, it does not have the ability to improve with age. Basically the flavor profile is locked in at the time of filtering on and can only get worse after that, if that makes sense. I have heard and read the difference filtering makes a million times and I still can't remember how it works....

Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 08:53 PM   #4
Apr 2009
Gloversville NY
Posts: 194
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Well commercial beers are brewed almost without any hops or grains so if they sit too long any flavor they might have had would be long gone..

Also they are filtered to within an inch of their lives.. Craft brewers actually use hops for what they were intended, preservative and bitterness.. Big brews are meant to be drunk within a month so any aging would be bad..

There was a microbrewery round here that during the busy summer months woud cut back alittle on the hop bill knowing their kegs wouldn't have time to mellow like they could in the winter..

Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 10:12 PM   #5
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,593
Liked 151 Times on 142 Posts

Because people dumb enough to drink BMC, are dumb enough to toss out beer past it's freshness date.

I remember when the big brewers bragged about how long their beer was aged.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2009, 06:26 PM   #6
May 2007
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,276
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts

Originally Posted by jblaven View Post
It seems that we should keep our beer bottled longer to help it finish... so why is it that the commercial beers have a "freshness date". If the seal hasn't been broken, why wouldn't it be "fresh"?

It all depends on the character of the beer. Some beer you want to be as fresh as possible. The balance of hops and malt or whatever they are trying to emphasize are going to change. Now, I'm not going to talk about a beer like Bud, but let's take one with a date that makes sense.

Pliny the Elder is best fresh. The newer the beer, the better the flavor profile will be. The hops will lose character with time, so this beer makes total sense to date accordingly.

Now, I know we're mostly talking about ****ty BMC beer, but they also have taste thresholds that they like to maintain. We may not appreciate or understand it, but they have impeccable quality control, and that is all part of it. Of course, it is more about marketing than anything, but there is fact behind it, even if it doesn't make much sense for a beer that isn't very good to begin with.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"American" or "Imperial" Oatmeal Stout Recipe: Critiques please! cladinshadows Recipes/Ingredients 5 11-23-2015 11:14 PM
extract freshness date? godrick Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 10-04-2009 03:07 PM
Liquid Yeast Past Its "Best by" Date Donasay Recipes/Ingredients 7 07-30-2008 07:19 PM
Yeast "good-till" date skifast1 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 03-13-2006 11:47 PM

Forum Jump