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Old 08-22-2012, 02:15 AM   #1
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Default Fresh beer/small retail store

Sometimes it takes about 3 ounces of the first beer of the day before my senses fully start embracing beer. I wish I could explain it.

Anyway speaking about wishing, I really wish I could rely on beer to be fresh. So that I could judge the brewer's intention and not having to wonder if the beer is fresh or not.

I assume the small businesses might have some craft beers (especially the more unpopular ones) sitting on the shelf for a while. Do they even have a policy of returning beer after a date? And how would they know since the beers are not labelled? I don't think the idea of coming back to a store with a six pack -1 and complaining about the freshness.

Makes you want to buy the popular brands at the popular stores.

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Old 08-22-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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Seems like it is becoming more common for brewers to put a "Bottled On" date on the bottles. Sometimes it's a printed; other times it's in the form of notches on the edge of the label.

Beer will age faster if it has been sitting at room temp. You could always ask how old the beer is.

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Old 08-22-2012, 04:17 AM   #3
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I work at a retail store that sells craft beer and it can be tricky to find out how old a beer is. Often times best by/bottled on dates are printed on the carton and not the 6-pack or bottle. If you are lucky enough to see someone stocking beer, you can ask what is fresh (because some of us care), or even casually glance at the cases he has. Other than that, I look for locally brewed beers that are seasonal (or the flagships).
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:38 AM   #4
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There are some places that are meticulous. Try the stores that specialize in craft beer. A local beer store here (Belmont Station, with 1300+ beers) rotates stock and returns to brewers out of date/older beer or sells it at a steep discount as old. They turn over their stock pretty consistently, so they don't have to do that much. They also have UV filtered light to prevent skunking/fouling.
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