Another reason to love the Wall Street Journal: on Saturday, they published an expose on 'cracking the beer codes.'
More specifically the piece gave analysis of 18 popular beers and how to read their labels to tell just how old your beer is.
Right now, I'm drinking a Beck's and by looking at the label, I have absolutely no idea when this brew was made or when it is set to expire. But, if I were drinking a Foster's Lager, I would know now that, for example, if the label had 'E 25 5 23' printed on it, that would tell me that the 'E' represents the month, (May) '25' the day, and '5' the year (2005) my Foster's was brewed and put in the bottle.
Or if I were drinking a Bass Ale, one of my favorites. Just a few days ago, '23 K 5 4sx' would have meant nothing to me whatsoever. Now, however, I can tell you, my beer swilling buddies, that the '23' represents the day, the 'K' stands for the month, (October) and '5' is the year.
Oddly, Coors Light is the only beer in the sample that puts a date right on the label, 'Jan 01 06,' which is the beer's expiration date--112 days after manufacture.
See the handy chart on the left included for your enjoyment? You're welcome. Just click to enlarge it.