Canadian Beer Date Codes

Have you ever wondered when was your can of beer made? I never did. But I found some info on it that seemed interesting enough to save and share.

In Canada, which is where I live, brewers use a date coding scheme that goes like this …..

The first letter is the month. “A” for January, “B” for February, etc. But they don’t use the letter “I” because it might be confused with the number one. So it gets skipped and they move onto the next letter which is “J”.

The next two numbers represent the day the beer was made.

The last one or two digits are the year. “4” or “14” for the year.

I noticed on an empty can of Busch Beer brewed by Labatt that there was a letter stuck in the place in front of where the year should be as well. And I see that same thing on the can of beer I’m drinking from as I write this. It has the code “L17L430942” printed on it.

17 = The 17th
L4 = 2014 (Just the number)
30942 = Production Code

emptiesAlthough some beers can last longer, most beers are supposed to last for “at least” 90 days depending on the brew.

So given my nature to beat the minimum expiry date of 90 days by at least 80 to 85 days (some weekends even less), I’ll never have to worry about my beer going bad. It was just interesting to know what those darn scribbles on my can of beer actually meant.

I’m still not sure about the date codes on Canadian bottled beer. But I’m sure I’ll find it somewhere on the web and post my findings.

But until then I think I’ll have another can of beer and check the date code on the bottom. Just for research purposes of course. It’s just one of the many sacrifices I’m willing to make to ensure I post the correct information.

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