"Born on dates" printed on beer bottles and cans are used to help beer drinkers know they are getting a fresh brew.
But recently Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis found itself in the spotlight after 20,000 cans of its Wee Mac Scottish-style Ale were stamped with a born on date that New England Patriots fans are sure to think is a little too fresh.
In the days after the release of the National Football League's Wells report on "Deflategate," where Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is alleged to have tampered with footballs during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, a Sun King canning line employee decided to have a little fun by stamping the cans with the message: "TOMBRADYSUX13MAY15."
Sun King co-owner Clay Robinson told the Indianapolis Star that while the brewery changes what is printed on the bottom of the cans each day, the "TOM BRADY SUX" message wasn't a planned stunt, but a "prank" pulled by an employee it would only identify as "Biscuit."
"We were like, 'What the hell were you thinking?'" Robinson told the paper.
As the cans started to make their way into circulation, eagle-eyed Colts fans began to notice the message and it fully hit the spotlight with The Indianapolis Star's write-up, leading Sun King to tweet a conciliatory message that read "A SKB employee had fun w the canning date coder. While we don't condone the message we understand his Colts passion."
As a hometown brew Sun King beer is sold in Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play their home games. The brewery is known for having a little fun with the bottom of its cans, printing things like "Turn left," or "Go fast" in honor or the Indianapolis 500, though Robinson tells The Indianapolis Star that "Biscuit" will now be required to submit a list of sayings he plans to stamp each week.
While Sun King has apologized, this might not be the end of the story. The Patriots head to Indianapolis on Oct. 18, which would be Brady's first game of the 2015 season if his current four-game Deflategate suspension is upheld. With more than 60 breweries in Massachusetts alone, don't be surprised if a brewer based somewhere in New England responds with a beer-themed message of its own.