Is this the shortest best before end (BBE) date on a beer ever?

By James Beeson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Commitment: Odyssey Brew Co wants its heavily hopped beers to reach customers in the best possible condition
Commitment: Odyssey Brew Co wants its heavily hopped beers to reach customers in the best possible condition

Related tags: Beer, Brewing

Craft Beer distributor EeBriaTrade and brewery Odyssey Brew Co have teamed up to exclusively offer the shortest dated beer ever produced in the UK.

KO IPA (‘Kegged-On’ IPA) is a heavily hopped beer which will have a best-before end date of just four days as opposed to the standard six or 12 months. The beer will be put into kegs on the 31 January, arriving at the pub a day later with a BBE of the 4 February, so publicans will have no choice but to serve the beer as soon as possible.

With freshness a huge priority for craft brewers, Odyssey Brew Co wants its heavily hopped beers to reach customers in the best possible condition and as quickly as possible so the delicate hop character is preserved. With the brewery being located in the relatively remote city of Hereford, this can prove challenging.

However, EebriaTrade’s online craft beer marketplace promises the beers can be shipped to customers on the same day they are packaged, meaning it can be served within 24 hours of being ready, instead of the usual distribution timeframe of several weeks.

A risky move?

Brewers of keg beers would ordinarily put a best-before date of several months on their beers, and pubs may take days or even weeks to sell an entire keg, so a shelf life of just four days is a big risk, but one the brewer considers worth taking.

The beer will be available for pubs to order on from 12midnight on Wednesday 17th January, and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Only one small batch of this exclusive, limited-edition beer will be made, and it will be limited to one keg per customer. The beer is expected to sell out in just minutes, highlighting how important pubs consider it to secure their customers better and fresher beer.

Speaking about the project, Odyssey Brew Co founder Mitchell Evans said: “At Odyssey we like to make incredibly hoppy but incredibly drinkable beers that are at their best when super fresh.

“To show pubs and drinkers how important to us this is and give them something a bit special, we have created KO IPA, a beer that will tell consumers exactly what date the beer was put into kegs, and what our recommended best before date is.”

Extra special beer for fans

Adams moved to reassure potential customers that the beer would still be perfectly drinkable after its four-day best-before date, but argued the exercise was designed so that customers could try the beer in the best possible condition.

“EeBriaTrade has allowed us to get the beer to customers all over the UK just 24 hours after kegging, enabling us to create this extra special beer and ensure it gets to as many of our far flung fans as possible,” he added. “We hope people love drinking this beer and above all have fun with the whole concept and experience - because ultimately enjoyment is what it should all be about.”

EebriaTrade head of trade Matt Stokes added: “The best breweries in the country are using more hops than ever to create incredible beers, and at EeBriaTrade we consider it a priority to make sure they arrive in peak condition to customers.

“Odyssey Brew Co are creating a beer so special we wanted to ship it as soon as possible without limiting it geographically, so we have made it available nationwide within 24 hours of packaging. The BBE date ensures the beer is served right away, guaranteeing the customer has the best experience and the brewery knows people are tasting it as it should be”

Related topics: Beer

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