Beer labels have a message. Not the brewery logo, beer name, and type. More significant than its size is the "enjoy by" or "brewed on" stamp.
Beer can spoil. What happens to beer in a package over time is poorly understood. Beer, like bread, stales over time.
Yes, beer, like wine, develops a distinctive flavor as it ages. However, unlike wine, beer has a far shorter shelf life.
Referring to the "bottled on" date stamp is one way to be sure you're getting the freshest beer possible, as explained by Serious Eats.
The general guideline is to purchase beer within 30 days of its bottling. Many breweries stamp "enjoy by" dates instead of bottling dates, leaving you clueless.
Hops oils break down quickly, reducing the shelf life of hoppy beers like IPAs. Darker beers, such lager or stout, and higher-alcohol drinks linger longer.
If your beer is not kept at the correct temperature and humidity, it may become bad. VinePair claims that sun exposure has ruined skunked beer.
Here are the fundamentals of beer purchasing: Always check the expiration date, buy fresh, and avoid letting bottles sit out in the sun for too long to ensure optimal flavor. Cheers!