The independent consumer guide to beer product dating.
New Englanders seem fond of notched dates. If I asked them about it, I'm sure I'd hear some some-congratulatory spiel about plain-spoken New England honesty, but I'm just not up for that right now. Just once I'd like to find a region that prides itself on dishonesty.
The Boston Brewing Company is best know for its Samuel Adams line of beers, but also produces Boston Lightship and a few seasonal brews (such as Old Fezziweg). It also supports the World Homebrew Contest. The Samuel Adams Beer Freshness Policy is explained at their web site.
Every bottle of Samuel Adams beer has a list of months running along one edge of its label, along with the important instruction "For brewery-fresh taste, purchase before month notched.". The "notch" is often barely a nick on the label, so you may have to squint.
Cartons of Samuel Adams include the expiration date (in MMMYY format) as the first five characters of a 17-character string inked onto the long side of the case. Cans have the same string on their bottoms.
Boston Brewing's manufacturer number is 87692.
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