Does beer go bad if left open?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does beer go bad if left open” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not the beer go bad if it is left open. Moreover, we are going to discuss the factors that affect the quality of the beer and the shelf life of opened and unopened beer.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does beer go bad if left open?

The beer can go bad if it is left open for too long. Not only the oxygen will react with the opened beer and degrade its quality but the bacteria and other microbes will also find their way to your opened beer and will contaminate it. 

If the beer has some off-flavor (stale or sour taste), off-smell, or if some sediments/ particles are lying in the beer bottle, then it is the indication that your beer has gone bad. If the color of beer changes then it is an indication that the beer is past its prime age.

What are the factors that affect the quality of the beer?

The worst enemies of the beer are direct sunlight, extremely hot temperature, and oxygen. All of these factors degrade the flavor, color, and overall quality of the beer.

Oxygen

As long as the beer is unopened, no air will find its way to the beer, thus no oxygen will get in the bottle of the beer and there will be no oxidation reaction that could otherwise degrade the quality and freshness of the beer. 

So as long as the beer is unopened, storing it even at room temperature won’t make your beer go bad. But once you open your beer bottle, it is recommended to keep it refrigerated in an ait-tight bottle and consume it as soon as possible. 

It is not recommended to leave your opened beer bottle at room temperature as the bacteria can find their way to your opened beer and can degrade its quality. Moreover, the oxygen will enter the opened beer bottle, react with the beer (oxidation reactions), and degrade its color, flavor, and overall quality.

Sunlight

If the bottle of beer is kept in direct sunlight, the UV radiations from the sun can penetrate the bottle of the beer and can degrade the quality of the beer by inducing chemical reactions in it. Therefore it is always advised to store your beer in a dark place. So as long as your beer is unopened you can store it in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry. But once your beer gets opened, it is recommended to keep it refrigerated. 

Bottled beer is more prone to the penetration of sunlight as compared to the canned beer. Moreover, the barrel or the keg in which draft beer is stored provides an extra layer of protection for the beer against sunlight. 

Temperature

Last but not least comes the temperature. Now the colder the temperature is the more will be the shelf life of the beer. But it does not necessarily mean that if you keep an unopened bottle of the beer at room temperature it will go stale. No, it does not work like that. An unopened bottle of beer lasts for about 6-9 months if stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Storing the beer at too high temperature (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) can induce some chemical reactions in the beer that can degrade its quality at a fast pace. So if you want to keep your beer fresh for a long time, it is better to keep it cold and to store it at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge. 

How long does open beer last in the refrigerator?

An opened beer lasts for about 1 day in the fridge if it is stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

How long does unopened canned beer last?

An unopened canned beer lasts for about 6-9 months if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

On the other hand, an unopened canned beer lasts for about 6 months to 2 years if it is stored properly at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge. 

How long does unopened bottled beer last?

An unopened bottled beer lasts for about 6-9 months if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

On the other hand, an unopened bottled beer lasts for about 6 months to 2 years if it is stored properly at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “does beer go bad if left open” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not the beer go bad if it is left open. Moreover, we discussed the factors that affect the quality of the beer and the shelf life of opened and unopened beer.

Citations

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-okay-to-drink-a-3-week-old-opened-beer-in-the-fridge

https://www.newair.com/blogs/learn/does-beer-go-bad#:~:text=The%20Average%20Shelf%20Life%20of,to%20up%20to%20two%20years.

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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