The independent consumer guide to beer product dating.
Actually, California seems to have more companies producing wine coolers than beer. Yet another reason to believe that Californians are abnormal.
All kidding aside, Californians actually devote considerable webspace to their native brews. If you want more information than I can provide, try The California Beer Page, The Southern California Beer News, and The California Beer & Beverage Distributors.
Entry added 18 February 2002. BeerAdvocate.com's Jason Alström pointed me to a page at their site which explains the three-character bottling dates used on Anchor's ales:
The first character is the last digit of the year.
The second character is a letter indicating which month the beer was bottled. Anchor couldn't be sensible and use an alphabetical order, so here's a table:
The third character may be a letter or number, and indicates which date of the month the beer was bottled. The letters "A" through "Z" indicate the 1st through the 26th of the month, while the numbers "7", "8", "9", "0", and "1" mark the 27th through the 31st days.
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B&J is a subsidiary of the Ernest & Julio Gallo winery, and B&J coolers use the E&J Gallo bottling dates.
Gallo's has one subsidiary making wine coolers (Bartles & Jaymes) and another making draft ciders (Hornsby's Pubdrafts, Ltd.). Both subsidiaries use the same dating scheme. Bottles have a Julian date (year trailing) on their cap. Cases, on the other hand, have a "MM-DD-YY" on the short end of the carton. All dates are bottling dates.
Entry added 10 January 1999. Bottles of Gordon Biersch beer have a MM/DD/YY date on the bottom rear edge of their labels. Gordon Biersch's manufacturer number is 31030.
Hornsby's Pubdrafts, Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Ernest & Julio Gallo winery, and Hornsby's Draft Ciders use the E&J Gallo bottling dates.
Pete's beers have two strings of numbers stamped on their necks. The first four digits of the second block are a bottling date in DDDY format. Today is [an error occurred while processing this directive].
Pete's manufacturer number is 85498.
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Entry added 18 February 2002. BeerAdvocate.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. The letter following the date identifies a brewing tank at the brewery, and the last five characters indicate the bottling time (using a military-style 24- hour clock).
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Entry added 6 May 2002. Skyy Blue malt beverage is isn't really vodka, and it isn't really bottled by Skyy; it's a malt beverage bottled by Miller Brewing, so it uses the Miller expiration codes. (Currently, those are in MMDDY format. Today is 12098.)
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BeerDates.com is the independent consumer guide to beer product dating. It is not owned, operated, affiliated with, or endorsed by any brewery or brewing company. In other words, if you want to send e-mail to a beer company, don't send it to me. "Pete's Wicked Ale" is a registered trademark of Pete's Brewery.http://beerdates.com/California.html © 1996.pl-2018 Michael Bauser