Can you drink expired beer? (+3 storage guidelines)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you drink expired beer?”, and how to tell If the beer has gone bad?

Can you drink expired beer?

Yes, you can drink expired beer. It is safe for consumption. However, It won’t taste the same as fresh beer. Fresh beer has bright hop flavors and a desirable bitterness.

On the other hand, expired beer will have a sweet, malty, and flat taste. It is because the flavor and aroma compounds will oxidize and dissipate.

The rate at which this reaction takes place depends on how the beer was kept in storage and how much is the alcohol content of the beer.

Beer that is kept in the refrigerator and has a higher alcohol content has a long shelf-life.

How long is beer good after the expiration date?

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of beer past the printed date.

Unopened In the pantry In the fridge 
Past date Past date 
Canned Beer 6-9 months 6 months-2 years 
Bottles Beer 6-9 months 6 months-2 years 
Homemade Beer6-9 months 6 months-2 years 

How to store beer?

Refrigerate

Refrigeration slows down the aging process in beer and protects against UV light. Ideally, beer should be kept at temperatures in the range of 50-55 degrees. Investing in a beer fridge is your best bet to control the temperature of the beer during storage and serving.

Store in a dark place 

Refrigeration will provide protection against UV and temperature fluctuations. However, If you are storing your beer at room temperature, make sure you keep it in a dark area at a consistent temperature. A basement is a good option.

Store Beer upright 

To minimize the contact of beer with the ai, keep them in an upright position. Keeping it sideways will increase the area available for oxidation.

How to tell If beer is bad?

  1. If the beer is exposed to UV rays, It starts to give off a skunky odor. This problem is common with beer like Heineken, stored in colored bottles.
  2. If your beer tastes like popcorn, cooked cabbage, sewage, sulfur, or just a normal sour or stale taste, It has gone bad.

Factors that affect the shelf-life of beer

Distance 

Local beer will have a more fresh taste as compared to the beer that has traveled long distances within its distribution region. 

During this traveling time, the beer ages and is agitated. Not only this, but beer is also exposed to heat, sunlight, or temperature fluctuations in general that affect its composition and shelf-life.

Popularity 

If your favorite beer is popular and sells like hotcake, It means It does not have to sit for months on the shelves. Therefore, It will have a fresh taste and a longer shelf-life.

Packaging 

Canned beer provides maximum protection against sunlight, contaminants, and oxygen. Brown glass bottles protect against UV rays. Green bottles also do a good job. Glass bottles provide the least protection and beer in these bottles is likely to go bad earlier than in the other bottles.

Temperature 

How the beer bottles or cans were stored at the store affects the quality and shelf-life of beer. The beer that was refrigerated will last longer. Also, the beer that was placed upright instead of sideways will be good for longer by minimizing oxidation.

Why does Beer make me poop?

Beer is known for troubling you with DADS(Day-after-drink-stools). There could be 4 main reasons as to why this happens to you.

  1. Ethanol in beer increases the acid in your stomach that damages the mucosa of your intestines causing gut inflammation. Inflammation meddles with the absorption of nutrients from your digestive tract. All these sets in diarrhea and you experience frequent runs.
  2. Alcohol in the beer decreases the vasopressin release in the blood which decreases the water reabsorption by the collecting ducts of your kidneys, hence, increasing the amount of water in your stool and urine.
  3. Alcohol in your beer also increases Gut motility. This means that the contents of your gut move quickly down the digestive tract than usual without getting proper time for adequate absorption resulting in watery stools and frequent urination.
  4. Beer has a relatively larger amount of sugar than other forms of alcohol. With the gut motility increased due to the alcohol, a large amount of sugar in beer rapidly moves to the colon of your large intestine with no prior digestion in the stomach. This propels the bacteria in your colon to ferment the sugars resulting in gas, cramps, and diarrhea.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you drink expired beer?”, and how to tell If the beer has gone bad? 

References

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6057-drinking-expired-beer

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.

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