How long can beer sit out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can beer sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of beer at room temperature. Moreover, we are going to discuss factors affecting the quality of beer, and the proper way to store beer.

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

How long can beer sit out?

An unopened bottle of beer lasts for about 6-9 months beyond the use-by date when allowed to sit out of the fridge in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Moreover, you can store your store-bought refrigerated beer in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry without worrying about it getting skunked. But storing the beer at too high temperatures (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) can induce some chemical reactions in the beer that can degrade its quality.

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. Refrigeration can increase the shelf life of beer to a year or two.

Moreover, 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.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the beer.

Is beer safe to drink after the “best before” date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the bottle of beer refers to more of quality rather than safety so the beer doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of beer but you can still use a beer that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

What are the factors that affect the quality of beer?

The factors that affect the quality of beer are oxygen, sunlight, and temperature.

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. 

In the case of open beer, each time you open your beer bottle air (oxygen) enters your beer that can initiate oxidation reactions in it, thereby decreasing the quality of the beer. So the more oxygen that finds its way to your beer bottle, the more will be the change in flavor that you will notice.

Sunlight

If the bottle of beer is kept in direct sunlight, the UV radiations from the sun can enter the bottle of the beer and can degrade the quality of the beer by inducing oxidation reactions in it. Therefore it is always advised to store your beer in a dark place. 

Temperature

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. 

How to properly store beer?

  1. The beer starts to lose its characteristic flavor when it comes in contact with the air and sunlight owing to the oxidation reactions. Therefore to seal the freshness of beer for quite a long time we recommend you always close the lid/cap of the beer bottle as soon as you are done pouring the beer that you need.
  1. Once your beer bottle has been opened, it is recommended to always seal or close the cap of the bottle properly to minimize its air exposure and store it in the refrigerator.
  1. On the other hand, an unopened bottle of beer can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
  1. Temperature fluctuations can degrade the quality of the beer so you should take care of this.

You can read about different types of beer here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can beer sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of beer at room temperature. Moreover, we discussed factors affecting the quality of beer, and the proper way to store beer.

Citations

https://www.newair.com/blogs/learn/does-beer-go-bad#:~:text=Most%20beers%20last%20beyond%20the,to%20up%20to%20two%20years.
https://www.canitgobad.net/can-beer-go-bad/
https://stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16512

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.