The British Beer Shop
Home PageBritish Beer ShopOur Favourite Links & FriendsContact Details:Who we areImage Gallery
April, 2014
June, 2014
July, 2014
August, 2014
October, 2014
December, 2014
January, 2015
February, 2015
March, 2015
May, 2015
September, 2015
December, 2015
January, 2016
July, 2016
September, 2016
April, 2017
October, 2017
December, 2017
Sell by Dates
I've been wanting to wrtie about this subject for some time as I think that there are many preconceptions about sell by dates, or best before dates. 

Modern packaging, beer bottles included, is extremely sophisticated and keeps the product in tip top condition. However, food safety rules dictate that there has to be a date before which the product is declared optimal. For many food products this is well in advance of the date at which the food starts to develop off flavours or to deteriorate, unless of course the packaging is compromised in some way. I'm not going to write at length about other types of food as my main focus for this piece is beer.

Beer comes to you in a sterilised bottle and in many cases with a pastuerised product, once it's inside the bottle it is in a pretty sterlie environment, unless of course the beer is bottle conditioned, which means that it containes live yeast and continues to mature inside the bottle - effectively like a real ale does in the barrel. Beer sell by dates are largely governed by the fact that a lot of beers are sold in clear bottles under the harsh neon lights of modern supermarkets and these lights can affect the product in the bottle, creating off flavours. This is the reason many brewers prefer brown bottles as they are more effective at keeping out artifical light.

Beer kept in cool dark conditions will not go off anytime soon, regardless of the best before date. I keep all my beers in these conditions and I am drinking beer that is over two years 'out of date' but is still as delicious as the day I first received them. I even have beer that is over 10 years old in a bottle conditioned format and they are still good to drink. 

I am often asked how I can sell the beer that is supposedly past its best and the simple answer is that if I can guarantee the quality of what's inside the bottle then I can still sell it. So don't be put off by the best before labels and keep your beer in the right conditions to ensure that it avoids strong light that can have a detrimental effect on whats inside the bottle. 

For the record, I currently have some excellent bottle conditioned beers from Wooha, (in brown bottles), with a 2 year shelf life. I think that these can be laid down for 2 - 3 years and the beer will be as good as it is now - but time will tell.....

In the meantime, enjoy your beer!


For further reading on this subject, have a  look at the link below to the Amstein website as they have a very good piece on this subject.
<< Back Add New Comment
0 items total
Add New Comment
Please type the confirmation code you see on the image*
Reload image
Home Page
British Beer Shop
Our Favourite Links & Friends
Contact Details:
Who we are
Image Gallery