How long can you store beer?

This article will answer the question “How long can you store beer?” and how long is beer good after the expiration date?

Read on if you want to know what factors affect the shelf-life of beer. This article also includes a brief guide on the storage and spoilage signs of beer.

How long can you store beer?

It all depends on the ABV content of the beer. Those with a low ABV level will only last 6 months unopened. On the other hand, beer like lambics and stout that have a higher ABV content will taste better with age If stored correctly. 

Opened beer should be treated like opened soda. It will lose its carbonation in a matter of hours and won’t be too flat to drink. Therefore, drink your beer within few hours of opening. Meanwhile, store your beer in the fridge. 

How long is beer good after the expiration 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 

Can out-of-date beer make you sick?

No, out-of-date beer will not make you sick. In the worst-case scenario, you might experience a mild stomach ache. Besides the syrupy, stale, and flat taste of out-of-date beer is not tempting at all. This is only applicable when the packaging of the out-of-date beer is sound. 

You should know that beer does not age like fine wine. The taste of beer won’t enhance over time in storage so what you buy is what you get. If the packaging has dents, cracks, or it is bulging from the top, do not consume this beer. It is highly likely to have become contaminated. 

The shelf-life of the beer depends on the processing conditions, packaging, and storage practices. Suppose we have the same type of beer but in two different packagings; one in a glass bottle and the other in a can. 

Since the can is completely air-tight unlike the glass bottle, chances are out-of-date beer in a can will taste like fresh beer. 

Factors that affect the shelf-life of beer


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.


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.


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.


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

Maybe you wonder if you can re-chill beer.

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.
  1. If your beer tastes like popcorn, cooked cabbage, sewage, sulfur, or just a normal sour or stale taste, It has gone bad.

How to store beer?

Beer is a shelf-stable commodity due to the alcohol in it. The recommended temperature or the traditional Cellar temperature practiced to keep beer is around 10 to 12 degrees celsius. 

If you just want your beer at the perfect chilly temperature, you can freeze it for 45-60 minutes at -18 degrees celsius. You can always check to see If the beer has reached the temperature of your personal preference.

The basement of most homes will be too hot for storage. While freezing your beer might make your beer explode. In this case, you can invest in a good beer fridge. This will save you the time and effort of storing beer.


This article answered the question “How long can you store beer?” and how long is beer good after the expiration date?


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.