The independent consumer guide to beer product dating.
Yeah, yeah, so these aren't real beers. Some of them aren't even really wine coolers: they're malt beverages, an oddly expansive category that includes wine coolers, "non-alcoholic beer", pre-mixed magaritas, and other "malternatives". Still, you buy them in most of the same stores, they're sold in the same size bottles, and (in deposit states) you return them to the same bins. Close enough for web work.
B&J is a subsidiary of the Ernest & Julio Gallo winery, and B&J coolers use the E&J Gallo bottling dates.
Bacardi Breezers appear to have two production codes stamped on each bottle. The shortest one (six characters) has bottling date, Julian format, year leading as its first four characters.
Cartons of Bacardi have a MM/DD/YY bottling date stamped on their long sides.
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So far as I could tell, Canada Coolers do not have product 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.
Glenmore Distilleries bottles pre-mixed Chi-Chi's ® Margaritas. Bottles of Chi-Chi's Margaritas use a Canadian-style bottling date followed by a two-digit year at the beginning of their production codes. Cartons have a more obvious MM/DD/YY date on the long side, and are labeled Stock Rotation Necessary, as well.
Glenmore's manufacturer number is 89000.
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.
Hiram Walker's Kahlúa Combos mixed liquer drinks have a production code stamped on the sides of their bottles; the first four digits represent a bottling date, Julian format, year leading.
Known mostly for premixed cocktails, Heublein also bottles pre-mixed José Cuervo® magaritas under license from the tequila company. The first three digits of the product code (stamped at the bottom edge of the bottle) are Julian bottling date. Hueblein's manufacturer number is 82000.
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Jack Daniels pre-mixed cordials have a MM/DD/YY bottling date stamped on the long sides of cartons. Jack Daniel's manufacturer number is 83820.
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Did you know that "Irish cream liquors" can spoil? I didn't until I noticed that recent bottles of Bailey's Original Irish Cream now have an expiration date on their back labels in the format of BEST TASTE BEFORE JAN98. If you have any bottles of Irish cream liquor that have been sitting around for more than two years, you probably want to get rid of them.
I have actually seen a bottle of Irish cream liquor that spoiled (somebody at work left a bottle with a cracked cap sitting on a shelf in the storeroom for a year), and it was pretty scary -- the cream had congealed into disgusting white chunks that bobbed about in the bottle. Ick.
Bailey's is the top-selling Irish cream liquor in the United States, and the only one I know of that puts expiration dates on their product. R.A. Bailey's manufacturer number is 86767.
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Seagram's Coolers have a product code stamped on the bottle. The first three digits of the code are a Julian bottling date. Cartons of Seagram's Coolers have a different code, which include the bottling date in MM-DD-YY format.
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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 12063.)
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Sun Country® wine coolers do not have product dates.
Two Dog was a subsidiary of Stroh in disguise, dedicated to handling some licensed malt beverages. The Two Dog Beverages used Stroh Brewery Company production codes, but I don't know who makes the Two Dogs currently sold in the United States.
Zima™ (a subsidiary of Coors) stamps plain-English dates on their bottles and cans. Zima's manufacturer number is 71990 -- the same as Coors Brewing.
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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. "Canada Coolers" is a registered trademark of the Canada Coolers Company. "Hueblein" is a registered trademark of Hueblein, Inc. "Sun Country" is a registered trademark of Sun Country Cellars. "Zima" is a trademark of the Zima Beverage Company.http://beerdates.com/coolers.html © 1996.pl-2013 Michael Bauser