What happens when beer expires?

In this brief article, we will provide an answer to the question, “What happens when beer expires?”. We will further elaborate on the taste, oxidation process in expired beer and the benefits of beer.

What happens when beer expires?

Nothing harmful happens when beer expires. Beer remains non-toxic after the expiry date. The only difference between normal and expired beer is the difference in taste. This change in taste is due to oxidation.

How long can you drink beer after the expiration date?

This time varies and depends on the type of beer. Usually, it is six to nine months. After nine months some toxic agents may start accumulating in expired beer. These agents can upset your stomach. But these nine months can be extended to 24 months. It happens when beer is refrigerated and stored under proper conditions.

What is the taste of normal and expired beer?

Talking about the taste of normal beer, it can be sweet, bitter, or even sour. It depends on the type of beer and how it was manufactured. Usually, malty beers develop grainy, caramel, and toffee notes.

The taste of expired beer is different as compared to normal beer. This is due to oxidation. This oxidation leads to the addition of a range of flavors. The flavor can be stale which resembles cardboard with a touch of sherry.

How does oxidation occur in beer?

The reasons behind oxidations are various. Like oxidation can happen when the mash is stirred excessively. It can also happen if too much splashing of wort occurs during recirculation. 

When the temperature is enhanced, the solubility of oxygen decreases. This decreased solubility of oxygen can lead to oxidation. The amount of oxygen in packaged beer is directly proportional to the process of oxidation.

What method is used to avoid oxidation in beer?

Some methods to avoid oxidation in beer are as follows.

Ferment in kegs: The reason behind preferring kegs for fermentation is because it makes very good fermentation as it can be sealed properly at any stage of the process. 

After completion of the process, samples are pulled directly from the liquid post to measure FG. Before sealing the keg, it is necessary to blow off the tube from the gas post.

Capturing of CO2 in a vessel for reuse: Oxygen ingress occurs due to the creation of a vacuum during cold crashing. Carbon dioxide produced during fermentation is captured in a separate vessel. Instead of oxygen-rich air, this captured CO2 is sucked back into the ferment during a cold crash.

Package before cold crashing: It is good to carry out packaging before the cold crash step. If we skip the cold crash step then the headspace in the fermentation vessel becomes saturated with carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is produced during fermentation. Despite the transference of beer out from the fermenter, Carbon dioxide remains there.

How to determine if beer is oxidized?

After oxidation, the flavors of dark beer change from malt flavor to flavors reminiscent of sherry and rotten fruit. In case the color of the beer is light, it means the oxidation reaction has gradually stripped the beer of the hop and malt flavors. 

Another indicator of oxidation is the taste of beer. Oxidized beer will taste like wet paper and cardboard.

What are the health benefits of beer?

These are the health benefits of beer.

Maintenance of thinking skills: Beer helps in the maintenance of thinking skills with aging. A study was carried out which indicated the people who consume one glass of beer daily retain thinking skills more efficiently as compared to the ones who don’t.

Protection from heart failure: Beer protects from heart-related diseases and protects it from failure.

Good for diabetic patients: The risk of type 2 diabetes decreases with the consumption of beer. As compared to non-drinkers, drinkers have a decreased risk of diabetes.

Protects from ulcers: Ulcer is caused due to the presence of a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. The risk of Helicobacter pylori can be reduced by the consumption of beer. But beer must be consumed in moderate amounts.

What are the downsides of beer?

These are the disadvantages of beer.

  • Alcohol consumption leads to worsening gout.
  • Consumption of beer in high amounts leads to harmful effects on the heart. It can cause some uncomfortable situations like chest pain.
  • Blood pressure goes out of control on the high consumption of beer.
  • Many sleeping-related problems are associated with drinking beer. Besides, this beer can make kidney diseases worse.
  • Triglycerides which are high levels of blood fats are caused by drinking beer. Beer can also lead to some irregularities in the nervous system.

Other FAQs about Beer that you may be interested in.

How many gallons of beer in a barrel?

Where to buy beer in maryland?

Why was Coors beer illegal?


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question “what happens when beer expires”? We have further elaborated the taste, oxidation process in expired beer, and the benefits of 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.