Bottle dating lagunitas
You should be thinking about time first: nine out of ten beers are getting worse the longer they stay in the bottle.
Hoppy beers in particular lose a significant amount of aroma, and oxygen starts ravaging the beer, making it taste like cardboard or cooking sherry.
All beers are exposed to each of these to some extent—there is no universal defense against them.
It's similar to the way the aromas and flavors of the ground spices in your cabinet can fade over time..then it gets worse.
These are better than nothing, but they can be deceptive because there's no indication of how long it's been since the bottle was filled.
If the label says that beer has been in the bottle more than 90 days, avoid that gnarly stuff.
Some bottles will have "Enjoy by" dates instead of bottling dates.