Can beer expire

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can beer expire?” We will also discuss what is the shelf life of beer and what signs can indicate spoilage of this beverage.

Can beer expire?

Yes, beer can expire. However, beer will not become dangerous to consume but it will exhibit an odd or flat taste. For how long can you store your beer? What factors can affect beer features?

To find out about beer’s shelf life, keep reading.

Why does beer go bad?

Beer is made with different organic compounds. This means that it can go bad as degradation, like any living organism. However, you can make your beer last longer, but you can not avoid the eventual decay of beer.

To keep your beer suitable for consumption for a longer time, there are certain factors that need to be attended to:

  • Light exposure. UV rays are able to go through beer bottles, and they will react to the chemical compounds in beer. So, when light touches the beer, certain compounds will be affected, which can modify the taste of beer.
  • Oxygen exposure. If you leave your beer without any cover, oxidation may occur. So, when oxygen meets beer, the compounds responsible for taste will be affected. If you try beer after a long time of air exposure, you can taste a disgusting flavor.
  • Bacteria exposure. Bacteria are responsible for food decay. The longer you leave your beer exposed to warm temperatures, the more possibilities for bacteria to grow. 

How long does beer last?

Beer shelf life can be affected by the container used and the location where your beer is placed. Beer needs to be refrigerated and closed for the longest time possible. If you store beer in a refrigerated area, bottled beer can last up to six months.

If beer is exposed to warm temperatures, its shelf life is reduced as it can only spoil within three months! Can you tell how important it is to keep your beer at low temperatures, this way you will protect the taste and texture of your beverage.

What is the proper storage for beer?

Depending on the type of container used for your beer, you need to store it under certain conditions for your beverage. The expiration date printed on the label is not necessarily the only factor that matters. 

The expiration date only works to know where your beer will start declining its quality. To store your beer properly, follow the recommended measures:

  • Kegs. Kegs are usually made from stainless steel. It is important your keg is filled and immediately sealed. You need to keep it in cool and dry places, and also keep other foods away from your beer kegs.
  • Bottles and cans. Avoid placing them in the freezer, it is better to keep them in the fridge at temperatures between 45 to 55°F. Also, make sure you keep your beer bottles upright.
  • Growlers. Keep your growlers in cool, dry, and dark places. 

If you have an unopened beer at room temperature, it can last from 4 to 6 months. But if you place it in the fridge, it can last up to 6 to 8 months. 

How can you tell your beer has gone bad?

Expired beer is also called skunked beer, as its scent smells like a skunk, pretty clever, right? So, if your beer smells like a skunk, DO NOT DRINK IT.

If beer has had contact with oxygen, your beer can end up with a cardboard-like taste, as a result of oxidation. So, to avoid this phenomenon you must keep your beer covered.

If you notice a buttery flavor, your beer can contain high levels of diacetyl, which can cause severe damage to your lungs.

In general, if you notice an odd taste in your beer it might be caused by some exposure to either light, oxygen, or bacteria. Avoid drinking beer in these conditions.

Can you make the beer last longer?

Beer’s shelf life can be improved if you attend to general recommendations that are pretty easy to do, like:

  • Keep beer in a dry, cool, and dark place. As discussed before, beer exposure to these elements can cause quick spoilage.
  • Store beer in the coldest place in your refrigerator, do not freeze it!
  • Keep can or bottle openers in good conditions. They can also modify the packaging and change the quality of the beverage.

Beer is such an exquisite beverage that can refresh a summer evening, however, you need to keep its consumption controlled. Remember beer can modify your mood and create addiction.

If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can beer expire?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.