The Brewers Association Technical Committee has released a statement addressing best practices in date lot coding for craft brewers.
In short the document states that it is in the best interest of craft brewers, distributors, importers, and consumers that all craft beer be identifiable by some form of a date or lot code. It is the responsibility of all brewers, big and small, to ensure that their products are clearly coded for traceability.
In addition to satisfying compliance with the Bioterrorism Act, lot coding serves three main functions:
- Provides traceability in the case of a quality or safety recall.
- Serves as a valuable quality tool in the distribution chain, allowing wholesalers and retailers to rotate and utilize first-in first out methodology
- Allows a degree of transparency for consumers to understand the shelf life of a beer.
The best practices document was developed by a working group consisting of Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi Brewing Company, Larry Horowitz, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant and Jason Perkins, Allagash Brewing Company.
Perkins states, “We on the technical committee feel that it is critical for all brewers to find a way to effectively code all their package beer for full traceability. It is an absolute necessary aspect of any brewery’s quality and safety programs. Methods for big and small brewers may vary, depending on resources. But all should have a clear way to discern the packaging date and specific lots that were used to make the beer”