Tell you the truth we really do not want our competitors and beer distributors to understand our date codes. It all has to do with shelf space in stores.
We use batch number.
If I understand what you're saying, this is not wanting competitors seeing that your belgian blonde has been sitting on the shelf for 6 months but your porter is only 1 week old? Is the concern competitors are going to copy your beer, the way everyone started making grapefruit IPA after sculpin hit it big?
Yes concern is that beer distributor guy does not declare that your beer is not selling and it should be replaced with blue moon or another item they are insetivized to push.
Not all breweries are providing identification code on their package beers.
Now if we are talking about beer freshness, it is more complicated then “born of date”. The date code will tell you when product was packaged but does not tell you anything how beer was handled between packaging and purchase.
There is this rule 3-30-300 to 90-70-32. What that mean is that beer will age the same amount in 3 days stored at 90F as 30 days stored at 70F and 300 days stored at 32F. (Look up Charlie Bendford talk about it)
What this means is that your 30 day Oscar blues/ Sierra Nevada …(pick any lager brewery name) distributed by distributor could be less fresh then 60 days self distributed brewery.
Those distributor distributed breweries are doing wonderful job minimizing TPO (total present oxygen -I think) but have no control over trucking in hot trailers, warehousing in non refrigerated warehouses and having a non refrigerated placement by the cash register or end cap.
In other words you can compare SN beer vs another SN beer because it is distributed by the same logistics but you can not compare OB vs SN because they have different logistics.
Bottom line is date code on the package does not tell you how fresh beer is. If you believe in that “born of date” marketing campaign worked on you.