Sleep When You're Dead

The Sleep When You’re Dead series are hop loaded beers, cold stored and sold within eight weeks of production. Ballistic Beer is serious about good beer and we go one step further to uphold this benchmark – If a retailer doesn’t sell out by the Dead By Date™, they can return the stock and we will credit them. And why does Ballistic have just an eight week sell-by date, when six or nine months is the industry norm? It’s because freshness comes first! SWYD has now seen 14 editions and has developed a cult following. To date, we have had to buy back less than $1000 of post Dead by stock. The most recent SWYD release Trans-Tasman Double IPA received the trophy for Champion Strong Beer at the 2022 Royal Queensland Beer Awards.




The “Dead by date” is not the date after which the beer isn’t any good.  Rather, it is the date after which we no longer want this beer to be sold.  We started this Dead by date to ensure that this beer will always be really fresh and full of flavour.  The beer itself would be good for up to 12 months, however, as with all highly hopped beers, the hoppy flavour slowly tails off over time.  At 2 or 3 or probably even 4 months, this beer would still be spectacular.  As a consumer, you should always be trying to buy the youngest beer possible, and our thought process was that if you saw a SWYD can on the shelf in a store, it was guaranteed to be still fresh – 2 months old or less.

The best way we can ensure that this beer is always super fresh is to ensure that it is not sitting around in some store at ambient temperature for a few months, so we put a 2 month date on it after which we buy back any that we are aware are still available in stores.  It’s our way to ensure customers get super fresh beer.  It’s not a date after which the beer is no good any more. We are not always aware there is stock still in store after Dead by date, but if we find out, we send out one of our reps to buy the beer back.  

Always look at the “Packed on” date, not the “Use by” date.  You want to know how old the beer is, not when it will expire – the Use by date is basically an arbitrary date that breweries choose themselves.  The longer that date is, the longer the beer can be left on the shelf to sell.  If it is a hoppy beer, make sure it is definitely less than 6 months since it was packed and preferably make sure it is less than three months.  Then you will get that brilliant hop explosion when you drink it.