How to read a label

DB Breweries spends considerable time and effort ensuring that all its products are made to a consistently high standard and have as long a shelf life as possible. This includes using the best natural ingredients and ensuring our brewing processes remove agents such as oxygen that contribute to stale beer. Once our beer is packaged and leaves the brewery, care is taken to protect stock from aging too quickly.

Retailers receive regular deliveries and rotate their stock, keeping levels optimal to make sure our beer gets to you in the best shape possible.

Packaged beer has a shelf life of nine months, so the 'best before' date is eight months after the production date. Production date codes use a Julian date which has the following format:

For example, the code may be 2340554B14

Position 1 = year (2 = 2002)
Position 2, 3 and 4 = day of the year (340 = 340th day)
Position 5, 6 and 7 = country code (554 = NZ)
Position 8 = filling line (B = filling line B)
Position 9, 10 = hour (14 = 2pm)

Our bottled beer (and cider) has the 'best before' codes on the labels and our cans have them ink jetted onto their base.

Also found on the label of our bottled beers, our ready-to-drink beverages, and the sides of our cans is the alcohol percentage (by volume) and the 'standard drinks' symbol.

All DB products produced in New Zealand carry the free DB consumer phone number 0800 102 337, or you can email