The dating seems silly, because I couldn’t possibly care less when my beer came off the line in St. Louis or wherever it’s produced. If in the situation where I’m drinking it, maybe I do want to know if I’m going to be assaulted by skunkiness. The issue is that skunked beer is usually caused by exposure to light and fluctuations in temperature, rather than time elapsing. Sure, with more time, it’s more likely that the beer has been exposed, but not if it’s been sitting in a cool basement or other area that ‘s dark and doesn’t experience wild temperature swings.
The above picture is an example of when I drank a beer that was well over it’s suggested time for consumption, although by how much is a mystery. I was in Mykonos, Greece, where beers at a bar were €7 a few summers ago. Needless to say, visiting a store that sold expired Bud (why not Budweiser?) for €1.50 was a smart move. And the fact that it was “expired” wasn’t much of a deterrent. Unlike food, beer isn’t going to spoil. The alcohol in the beer kills off germs, so it’s not going to be like old meat or bread where there’s mold, fungus, bacteria, etc. At least according to a professor who made beer from communal spit in a pot of corn.
So, it’s not dangerous or anything to drink expired beer. I wouldn’t recommend it as a practice, but you could probably return it if it is skunked anyway. While skunked beer might make you sick in the drinking sense, you’ll be fine in the medical sense.