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Cracking the beer codes

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The Wall Street Journal has an article about the mysterious codes on beer bottles. If you can decipher them, they'll give you the expiration date.


Boston Beer's labels are simple "Best when consumed by June 30, 2006" while many others have something like 6SJ7QN. Not esp helpful.



Labatt's formula looks like this M06M5-50525, where the first M = the month, with A=January, and M = December. "I" is skipped. The "06" is the day, and the five following the second M is the last digit of 2005


Anchor Steam uses a simple formula. 5 F 8, with 5 = 2005, F= month of February. Others include Y = May, U = June, L = July, and G = August. The 8 equals the day


Tecate has a longer formula, of which only a few characters refer to the freshness. K1909 F 09 12 5 where 09 is the day, 12 is the month, and 5 is the final digit of the year.


Other beers deciphered include Bass Coona Coors Asahi Fosters Heinekin Miller Molson and Pabst

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I'm sticking this in here cuz I can't be bothered with starting a new thread.


Black Table beer roundup


Scarily comprehensive. Some people really do have a lot of time on their hands. :blush:


Dos Equis is a confused comingling of cultures rendering the same result you got when you tried to mix all the paint together as a kid: bilgewater.



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i like dos equis. well, one of them anyway.

Rolling Rock beer has a horse's head on its label, mongo. If you like dos, maybe the rock will appeal to your tastes.

well, the horse's head doesn't have much to do with it. i just think it is a decent enough beer--not worthy of fulsome praise or dismissal. i'd drink it over corona and many other popular beers anyday.

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I know this is not on topic, but does your country or state require the alcohol content of beer to be listed on the label? Just wondering, since I don't recall it being on beer labels I've seen in NY state, and that seemed odd to me given that the US is such a leader in consumer product label legislation (alcohol content is required on labels here in Canada).



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I believe the major brewers oppose listing alcohol content nominally because it will encourage competitive boozing. The real reason is probably because the major brands will come out looking pretty weedy compared to the microbrews.

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