What is the shelf life of beer? – The shelf life of beer will depend on the container and location of storage. If stored properly in a refrigerated area, bottled beer will last up to six months. If stored in a warm environment, bottled beer can spoil in three months. Other containers, such as crowlers and growlers have shorter shelf lives.
- 1 Can you drink bottled beer 2 years out of date?
- 2 How long is beer good past bottling date?
- 3 How do I know if my beer bottle is expired?
- 4 Is expired beer stronger?
- 5 How can you tell if beer has gone bad?
- 6 Where is the expiration date on beer?
How long will a bottle of beer last unopened?
Most of people all over the world drink beer because it’s bitter. The green’s bitter taste is well known for its bitter flavor which includes dandelion greens and broccoli. The flower of broccoli is very large flower green color heads that arrange in a tree-like structure.
Cocoa is another flavor that most of the people like it because of its bitter flavor. But Cocoa has different tastes if we compared it to beer. To keep the flavor balance sweet and spicy flavors are 10% sugar and 60% cocoa dark chocolate is added in Cocoa. If you are a beer lover you must know how long beer last in the fridge because drinking expires beer is safe to drink.
But the taste of the expired beer will not be good and it will deteriorate over time. It will not be bitter such as a fresh beer bottle. Actually, there are different varieties of beer brands that make beer bottles in different unique shapes. Most of the beer bottles don’t have expiration dates.
- That’s why some people may be confused and want to know if the beer expiration date really matters.
- Of course, it really matters and you must be careful about beer expiration dates.
- Beer usually lasts six to nine months after the expiration date that is indicated on the label.
- It may last more than 2 years if the beer is refrigerated.
The refrigeration helps to keep beer fresh and the taste of the beer will same as it.
|Bottled Beer lasts for||6-9 Months||6 months-2 Years|
|Canned Beer lasts for||6-9 Months||6 months-2 Years|
|Homemade Beer lasts for||6-9 Months||6 months-2 Years|
The unopened bottled beer, canned beer, and homemade beer last for 6-9 months in the pantry, and 6 months-2 years in the fridge. Make sure to drink your beer before the expiration. There are different types of beer but most of people love to drink Pale Lager and Pilsner because it comes in different colors.
Can you drink bottled beer 2 years out of date?
Does Beer Expire? – Allagash Brewing Company A question we get often: does beer expire? Short answer, no. Beer isn’t like milk. With age, it doesn’t actually expire or become unsafe to drink. Old beer’s taste, however, will absolutely change. But stored properly, an old beer’s effect on your body won’t be different than a freshly packaged beer.
How does that work? The wort—or unfermented beer—is basically Pasteurized by the brewing process, effectively killing off any unwanted organisms. Once the beer is fully fermented, it creates an environment in which the types of pathogens or bacteria that can cause harm aren’t able to survive. This is due to the combination of alcohol, the beer’s low pH, and the antimicrobial activity of hops.
There are quite a few other microbes that can live in these conditions, but they’re not harmful. This means that in a properly brewed and packaged beer, you’ll just find the beer’s ingredients and a teensy bit of air. That tiny amount of air is important.
There’s no way to package a beer without a miniscule amount of oxygen sticking around. At our brewery, we measure this amount in parts per billion. With time, that oxygen inside every bottle, can, or keg, changes the beer. This is called “oxidation” and is responsible for a range of flavors. Some beers will develop a stale, cardboard-like flavor, accompanied by a note of sherry.
More malt-forward beers can develop a sweet, bready, and even toffee-ish flavor. In a beer of ours called —a bourbon barrel-aged Tripel—we’ve noted some of those pleasant toffee and almost caramel-like flavors developing with age. A beer’s “hoppiness” will also dissipate with age.
Hop aromas in particular are notoriously time-sensitive. The bitterness hops impart in the beer will stay in the mouthfeel, but any of those piney, citrusy, or floral hop aromas that characterize a hop-forward beer won’t stick around in an older beer. But what about skunky beer? Light is the culprit there.
Beer ages poorly under any ultraviolet light (thus why a term for properly aging beer is “cellaring” or keeping it in a dark place). Brown bottles and aluminum cans are both effective at blocking out light. But beer in a clear or lighter-colored bottle will develop that signature “skunk-like” flavor if left out.
- Another, different staling agent is heat.
- The higher the heat, the faster the staling.
- Heat doesn’t create a specific off flavor itself (unlike light).
- Instead, it acts to speed up the process of oxidation.
- Our lab actually uses a warm fridge to simulate age in our beer, to get an idea of how it will hold up with time.
Intentionally aging beer is an entirely different subject, and one that’s worth a blog post of its own. But long story short, if you enjoy beer, you’ll want to drink it closer to its release date. It’s the best way to taste the beer as close as possible to the way the brewer intended.
Can I drink bottled beer 3 months out of date?
Can beer “go bad”? – No, beer has no use by date, meaning it is safe to drink well past the best before date. Beer won’t be dangerous to drink, but the taste of the beer will deteriorate over time. How you store your beer will also affect the taste. Beer is very sensitive to light and dramatic temperature changes.
Does unopened beer go bad in the fridge?
Does Beer Go Bad? Everything You Need to Know About Proper Storage and Beer Expiration Dates May 03, 2018 Whether you’re planning a Corona -soaked backyard barbecue or want to keep your favorite craft beer from local microbreweries fresh, understanding how to store beer is the first step to enjoying it.
- After all, there’s nothing worse than being disappointed by a skunked beer when your taste buds were craving a refreshing pale ale,
- The short answer is that yes, beer does go bad, but it can last a long time under proper storage conditions,
- Some beer styles last longer than others, and most have a shelf life well beyond the best-by date chosen by brewers,
So yeah, it’s complicated. To answer all your questions, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to keeping your good beer from turning into a bad beer, Read in full for a complete understanding of all the factors that affect beer shelf life, or skip to your most burning question first.
Like any food, beer is an organic substance, meaning it’s made from plant materials that will eventually succumb to decay, just as all living things do. Brewers do their best to make beer last as long as possible, but nothing can resist the onslaught of bacteria and chemical reactions as time passes.
There are three major ways that old beer can meet its demise (flavor-wise, anyway): light exposure, oxygen exposure and bacteria exposure. It turns out that ultraviolet light is just as bad for beer as it is for your skin. When UV light penetrates beer bottles, it, the plant material responsible for your favorite beer’s complex better flavors.
This chemical reaction breaks down important flavor compounds until the look — and smell — exactly like the chemicals in skunk spray. That’s why ” lightstruck ” bottled beer turns into unappetizing skunky beer. Brewers seek to minimize the damage by shipping beer in darker bottles, If you’re a fan of hops-laden IPAs, look for brown glass or canned beer for a longer shelf life,
that eventually alters the flavor and aroma of your beer. As oxygen interacts with the chemical compounds in the beer, it breaks them down, which results in different flavors. One of the most common results of oxidation is, Other compounds cause other flavors, which can include everything from a cardboard flavor to notes of must or aged sherry.
- Because oxidation is caused by air leakage, bottled beers may be slightly more susceptible to this issue than cans, which have a tighter seal.
- As a general rule, it’s best to store beers upright for an extended period, as this minimizes the amount of beer in contact with the air (as opposed to placing them on their sides, which maximizes air exposure.
Eventually, all things must decay, and the cause is microbial action. Living bacteria think your beer is tasty, too, and they’ll eat away at it over time. This is relatively rare when it comes to commercially sold beer, because brewers do everything possible to minimize contamination.
- The alcohol content of beer also acts as a natural preservative, because microbes can’t survive in liquids with a high alcohol content,
- Refrigeration also helps slow the life cycle of microorganisms, including the natural yeasts you’ll find in bottle-conditioned ales,
- Just about every commercially produced beer is tagged with an expiration date,
Also known as the sell-by date or the best-before date, these are meant as guidelines rather than holy law about when to throw out your beer. Because no beer lasts forever, and brewers want to protect their reputations by keeping customers satisfied, they put a date on beer to let grocery and liquor stores know when to pull a product that may no longer be at its best quality,
- This is not to say that expired beer is going to kill you or even that it is guaranteed to taste bad.
- On the contrary, properly stored beer can last for months beyond the suggested sell-by date,
- You can definitely buy a beer near or even past its expiration date, but be aware that it will have a shorter shelf life and should therefore be consumed relatively soon.
Most beers last on the package. When stored at room temperature, you can expect beer to last for six to nine months beyond the use-by date, Refrigeration increases this time period to up to two years. Sell-by dates are usually just a guess, because many factors influence how long a beer will last.
Distance: How far the beer travels within its distribution range affects its aging. Long road trips mean your beer is older by the time it gets to you, and this increases the possibility that the beer was agitated, left in the heat or sun, etc. In general, a local beer is a fresh beer. Popularity: How fast is the turnover where you bought it? If your favorite imperial stout is hard to keep in stock because it’s selling like hotcakes, you can be sure it hasn’t sat around for too long before you snag it. Rare items collecting dust may be much older. Packaging: Because cans blot out direct sunlight and seal out oxygen and potential contaminants, they’re better at keeping beer fresh for longer periods. If you don’t like cans, brown glass bottles act like sunglasses to keep UV rays at bay and prevent skunking; green bottles are also somewhat effective. Clear bottles offer the least resistance to ultraviolet light, Temperature: How does the seller store the beer before you buy it? Keeping it out of direct light is critical, and refrigeration will prevent aging and allow the beer to taste better for longer. You can also take a look to see if bottles and cans are stored upright, which will minimize oxidation more efficiently than ones stored on their sides.
Eventually, all beer goes bad. That’s the sad truth about life. On the bright side, keeping beer in the fridge is a good way to help it last as long as possible. This is because a dark area in a cool place is the best place to store a beer to avoid the things that make it go bad.
Your refrigerator is both cool and dark, as long as the door isn’t opened too often. As mentioned above, refrigeration slows down natural aging processes and allows a beer to taste fine up for a good two years after its expiration date, — those bottles sealed with a cork held in place by a wire cage — are a bit of a different case and require special care when refrigerating.
Corks are typically reserved for Belgian beers, but you may see them on other wheat beers from microbreweries that like to create a vintage beer look. In general, a cork creates a very tight seal, because it expands to completely fill the neck of the bottle.
- Many home brewers feel that corking is a better option than capping when it comes to long-term storage.
- The extreme cold inside your standard kitchen refrigerator — typically 38 degrees Fahrenheit — also creates very dry conditions, and this can cause the cork to shrink slightly.
- If this happens, the seal will be broken and air and bacteria can creep in, advancing the aging process and leading to an altered flavor profile.
You can prevent this from happening to your corked beers by storing them in a instead. Like a fine wine, a corked beer does best at temperatures around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is cool enough to slow the aging process but warm enough to maintain reasonable humidity for the cork.
Unlike wine, however, it’s best to store a corked beer upright to avoid too-rapid oxidation, which can cause a major change to the chemical balance of the beer and lead to off-flavors. This depends on several factors. First, your beer bottle or can would have to survive the freezing without exploding.
Liquid expands slightly when it’s frozen, but it’s the carbonation that’s the real problem, as the water pushes the carbon dioxide bubbles outward. This creates extra pressure that will eventually leave a mess of frozen beer and broken glass in its wake.
Even if you catch your mistake before the beer freezes completely, it may still be ruined. If enough pressure built up to loosen the cap on bottled beer, air leaks would lead to a disappointingly flat beer when you open it. Freezing would also be disastrous for a bottle-conditioned beer with live yeast, as the cold would kill the yeast and put a halt to its continued flavor development.
On the other hand,, A German eisbock is made by freezing beer on purpose and skimming off the ice to leave behind a beer with higher alcohol content, (The science here is that the water freezes long before alcohol, so removing ice doesn’t remove any alcohol when done early in the process.) You can try this yourself, but be aware that this is likely to,
- Lots of non-beer snobs also enjoy beer slushies, too, but in general it’s best to rely on the fridge instead of the freezer when you need a cold beer fast. Yes.
- Though many beer drinkers blame warm temperatures for “skunking,” this particular type of bad flavor is actually caused by exposure to direct sunlight,
UV rays break down the essential oils in hops extracts into different chemical compounds, one of which is an exact match for skunk spray. Brown bottles can add a layer of protection — and certainly do more to help than clear glass containers — but the best way to prevent a skunky flavor and aroma is to store your alcoholic beverages in a dark place,
- This is particularly important when it comes to hoppy beers that are more likely to develop a skunky taste than lighter beers like a Bud or Coors Light.
- On the bright side, if you want to drink beer in the sun, go ahead and enjoy.
- It’s unlikely that a short period in the sun will do any harm, even if you prefer summery light beers in clear bottles.
As you can see, a great beer is affected by all sorts of elements, including temperature, sunlight, the storage container and more. To help everything from a Bud Light to a barleywine taste its best, follow these basic beer storage tips:
Refrigerate. Keep your beer in a refrigerator to slow the aging process and block out UV light. The ideal temperature for beer storage is about 50 to 55 degrees, though you can go colder with capped bottles and cans. will let you control the temperature to keep it at the perfect level for both storage and serving. Find a Dark Place, A good beer cooler will offer UV protection, but if you choose to keep your beer at room temperature, choose a cool room with minimal temperature changes. The ideal spot will be a dark one, where no direct sunlight can shine on your beer and start the skunking process. Your basement may be a good choice. Store Beer Upright. Avoid unnecessary oxidation by keeping bottles and cans in an upright position in your fridge or on the shelf. This keeps only the smallest surface area of the beer in contact with the air to slow the aging process, whereas keeping a beer on its side maximizes the amount of surface area for oxidation.
With a little extra care in storing your beer, you can help it last as long as possible and enjoy peak flavor from your favorite brews. : Does Beer Go Bad? Everything You Need to Know About Proper Storage and Beer Expiration Dates
Can bottled beer go bad?
Can you drink expired beer? – You can drink expired beer without worry about food safety, but it’s best to dump that bottle or can if your first few sips reveal the off-flavors of expired beer. Craft beer is made with agricultural products and living organisms — namely hops, malt, and yeast — so they naturally degrade with time.
How long is beer good past bottling date?
The Average Shelf Life Of Beer – It is important to note that all beers don’t ‘expire’ the same way. It has a lot to do with the beer’s ABV composition and of course, how it has been packaged and stored. Higher ABV beers (8% and above) like Stouts and Barleywines actually taste better with age so leaving them on the shelf for a few years is ideal, provided you take careful steps to store it properly.
Lambics are also more suitable for ageing as they are wild-fermented and the Brettanomyces yeast consumes the complex sugars over a long period of time. This is why Lambics are aged in oak barrels for three to six months – and sometimes even a year! Opened beer will naturally have a shorter lifespan as it goes flat the moment you break open the air-tight seal, even if you refrigerate it! As a general rule of thumb, sealed beer is shelf-stable for 6 to 8 months without refrigeration.
If stored and refrigerated properly, sealed beer can last beyond its expiration date up to 12 months.
Can you drink out of date beer 1 year?
While beers are produced with expiry dates, you don’t always have to adhere to these. If you look on the back of a beer, wine or cider bottle, you’ll likely see a ‘best before’ date. This is different to a ‘use by’ date you’ll usually see on fresh foods like meat and dairy products.
Here’s the difference: ‘use by’ is pretty much a rule. After the stated date, degradation happens quickly, and bacterial build-up means the taste, consistency and safety of the food/drink is compromised. You’re in danger of getting ill if you go past a ‘use by date’, so be wary of the risks. ‘Best before’ is more of a guideline on quality, rather than safety.
It means the item in question will start to lose its quality after the stated date. You can still eat or drink it after this, but it just won’t be as good. It’s usually found on products that don’t need putting in the fridge or freezer, and there’s a big variety in the date ranges between different foods. You won’t see these on spirits, though, as neat liquor lasts practically forever. So, beer. How long does it last? Its ‘best before’ quality changes over quite long time spans, and it differs depending on the beer type. A typical lager will be drinkable 6 – 24 months after its best before date, if it’s been kept in the fridge.
- That timeframe tops out at 9 months if it hasn’t been refrigerated, though.
- Some beers, like people, can actually improve with age.
- In the same way that wine and whiskey are matured over long timespans, the richer and higher ABV varieties of beer such as porters and stouts can certainly get better with age.
This happens best if they’re kept in cool, dark storage conditions like a basement or cellar. IPAs, on the other hand, don’t fit into this category – especially the hoppy ones. They gradually lose their flavour and aroma over time and are best drunk sooner rather than later.
How do I know if my beer bottle is expired?
Pull date locations for bottles vary by brand, and may be found on the neck label, shoulder of the bottle or back label. For cans, the pull date is located on the bottom of the can.
Why does beer expire?
Does Beer Expire? – Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Frequently Asked Questions
Ask brewers and craft beer aficionados alike, and there’s one thing they can all agree on: fresh beer is the best beer. One of the most relatable disappointments among beer drinkers is finally cracking open a can of a beer you’ve been looking forward to and realizing it just doesn’t taste right.
But we’re here to help. Read on to find out whether beer can actually “go bad,” how to store your beer to lengthen its life, and how to identify the age of the beers on your shelf. The short answer is yes, beer expires. But it’s a bit more complicated than just saying it can “go bad,” as it depends exactly what you mean by that.
“Pathogens cannot live in beer, so from a health standpoint, beer cannot go bad,” explained Firestone Walker Sensory Research Analyst Craig Thomas. “But age and temperature have a huge impact on how all beer tastes. Some beer styles retain the ‘fresh factor’ better than others, and many brewers have gotten very good at slowing the rate of aging flavors developing in their beer.
But the fresher your beer, the better!” Like other foods, beer is made from organic plant ingredients that eventually decay. Brewers work to make the beer last as long as possible, and they have some major advantages – the alcohol content, beer’s low pH, and the antimicrobial activity of hops. When properly brewed and packaged, the only things in your beer are the ingredients and the smallest amount of air.
It is impossible to package beer without a small amount of oxygen coming along with it. Over time, that oxygen can change the beer itself, sometimes adding a stale flavor described as “cardboard.” Not all beers are affected by oxidation in the same way, though.
- For example, malty beers sometimes develop sweet, grainy, caramel, and toffee notes.
- The speed of oxidation can be affected by major temperature swings, so it’s best to keep your beers cool.
- A beer’s hoppiness can also diminish after a while.
- Hop aromas are very time-sensitive, so the citrusy, floral, or tropical hop aromas we love in hop-forward beers will disintegrate over time.
And finally, you’ve probably heard of “skunked” beer. It’s a that skunky beer is caused by temperature swings, but it’s actually more the result of light exposure. To put it simply, the chemicals in hops react poorly with ultraviolet light. That’s why you’ll see many bottled beers in dark-colored glass – it allows less light to get through and impact the liquid.
This one’s easy: beer should be stored for a short time in a dark, cool place. If you have room in your fridge, that is the best spot. If the fridge is full, keeping your beer in the basement or a cool closet is the next-best option. Needless to say, the hot trunk of a car or a sunny kitchen counter are some of the worst places for your beer – so keep its time in locations like that to a minimum.
Curious about shelf life? Remember the 3/30/300 Rule: A Firestone beer stored at 98-degrees Fahrenheit for 3 days is equivalent to one stored at 72-degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days or one stored at 35-degrees Fahrenheit for 300 days. Almost every beer has a date printed on it, which will help you understand how long the beer will taste the way the brewers intended – assuming it’s been stored properly.
At Firestone Walker, we make it easy with a “born on” date. This date, found on the bottom of cans or the bottle label, notes when the beer was packaged. We use a month/day/year format followed by a time stamp. (ex: 1/1/23 23:40) Our lagered beers – like,, or any of our stouts – have a six-month shelf life.
Other beers like,, and have a four-month shelf life. Other breweries use what is called a Julian date code. It’s often 3 numbers followed by one more digit. The first three digits represent the day of the year, with the last digit being the last number of the year.
For example, 165 3 would be the 165th day of 2023 (June 13th). Sometimes this number can appear as 0165 – with the year coming first, followed by the day of the year. Lastly, some breweries put a best-by date on their packaging. Know that the closer you are to the best-by date, the older the beer. Some beers develop admirable flavors over time, and intentionally aging beer is a hobby of its own.
As a rule of thumb, if you enjoy drinking beer, you want to drink it closer to the day it was brewed. That is how you get to taste the beer the way the brewers intended it to be. Deadset on cellaring that bottle of 2023 Parabola to try next year? We get it.
Aging beer allows various flavors not immediately present to develop over time. Just remember that not all beers are good candidates for the effects of gentle aging and cellaring. Beers that can be cellared: Barleywines, Imperial Stouts, Belgian style Quads, and other high-ABV beers with dark malts. Barrel-aged sours and rauchbiers are lower ABV, but they can age beautifully.
Beers that shouldn’t be cellared: Any beers with hop-forward characteristics, such as IPAs and Pale Ales. Most lagers and session beers are also poor candidates for aging and should be consumed fresh. Read our blog on for more tips on properly aging your beer.
- Want to avoid old beer? Use our to discover where you can get fresh Firestone beers.
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Is expired beer stronger?
Your parents are downsizing. You’ve offered to help, but begin questioning your decision-making skills the moment you’re assigned attic duty. As you shuffle boxes of dusty decorations, trunks of old clothes, college mementos and (for reasons you can’t quite fathom) a complete set of dining room chairs, something catches your eye.
Atop a horizontal wall stud sits a forgotten bottle, and not an empty one at that. It’s beer, a brand you don’t even recognize, still capped. Feeling adventurous — and also a bit desperate — you wonder what it would be like to chug attic-tempered beer that’s been aged a solid decade or more. Has it matured like wine? Or, has it become flat and lost its alcohol content altogether? Beer, like wine, does continue to age after it is packaged.
Unlike wine, this isn’t really a good thing. As beer sits, it will continue to ferment. But don’t be fooled into thinking your beer will become better with age. Beer doesn’t become unsafe to drink as it matures, but it will begin to taste flat — either because it loses flavor or develops an off-putting flavor profile.
The flavor will be best during the first few months after it is bottled. Once the flavor peaks, the proteins that give beer its distinct taste will start to break down, and the beer will become a one-note wonder (or disappointment, as the case may be). The exception to the “drink it quick” rule is for beer that has a greater amount of hops and a higher alcohol content (usually 9 percent or more) that has been brewed specifically for aging.
Bottle Beer Like A Pro! My 5 Tips
Its proteins will still break down, just as with any other beer, but it will have been engineered to withstand the process in the first place. Most are “living beers” that still contain yeast from the brewing process and that will develop fuller, richer flavors over time,
- But what about alcohol content? As a beer ages, will its potency wane too? In a word, no.
- The alcohol content of beer (and wine, for that matter) is determined during the fermentation process and will not change over time.
- During fermentation, yeast converts sugar (or any carbohydrate source) into carbon dioxide and ethanol alcohol.
As the yeast converts sugar into alcohol, the alcohol eventually overwhelms the yeast and kills it. When the yeast dies, it cannot produce more alcohol, So why does one type of beer have a greater alcohol content than another? The concentration of alcohol is the result of the type of yeast strain used during the fermentation process.
What beer has the longest shelf life?
Beer is best fresh. There is little debate about this in the craft brewing community. However, some beers can be saved for a longer period of time, and others, such as bottle-conditioned beers, are actually designed to evolve in nuance and flavor over time.
- The question of “how long does beer last?” is a common refrain for the average beer drinker.
- With the proliferation of full-flavored beers in a kaleidoscope of styles, it is more important than ever for consumers to be aware of how old a beer is, as well as how long that particular beer can be enjoyed for best flavor.
Let’s take a look at some general practices that can help you make good decisions when considering your next beer purchase. When I buy a new beer, I do my best to check to see how old it is; if it’s older than two months, I rarely pull the trigger on a purchase.
- IPAs are best consumed fresh, ideally within a month of packaging, and preferably no older than three months.
- This is because the degradation of hops occurs rapidly.
- With the amount of IPAs available on the market, this is an almost impossible achievement on a regular basis.
- I often find IPAs on store shelves that are a year or more old – a tragedy of the highest degree.
Even so, a fresh-from-the-brewery-tap IPA is a vastly different experience than a month-old can of the same beer, so always try to experience that for a comparison. Many breweries do print a “packaged on” or “born on” date on their beers. While a nice idea, this information is only helpful to the beer drinkers that know two things: How to look for that information and what that date means for the beer itself,
- More often than not, the dates are hidden underneath the can or printed in a miniscule font on dark bottle sides.
- Even if a consumer finds that information, they may not know what to do with that obscured series of numbers.
- Putting a “best by” date also shouldn’t be seen as an expiration date, as beer doesn’t technically spoil, it just becomes less tasty over time.
A beer past its ideal state can taste bad and turn off consumers from trying different beers from an otherwise great brewery – all because the beer was too old. Sünner Kolsch from Sünner Brauerei showcases its “best before” date via cut-outs on the back label. This example is best enjoyed before August of 2018. San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co, has found a unique solution to “best by” date concerns by releasing the “Enjoy By” series.
- With its “enjoy by” date printed front and center as the name and focal point of each version’s label, a consumer knows exactly when this beer should be imbibed for best flavor.
- On the flip side, Stone also has an “Enjoy After” series of Brettanomyces-infused IPAs, which lets fans know that this wild IPA will continue to develop after purchase and also states when it would be best to open.
Other examples of breweries that offer “best by” or “best before” dates on their bottles include New Belgium Brewing Co. and Odell Brewing Co. With age often comes a variety of unflattering characteristics – much more than just flavor degradation. It can oxidize, creating a wet cardboard-like flavor.
Beers can also become ” skunked ” if left in the presence of direct light. Styles such as pale ales, light lagers, wheat beers and brown ales are best within 120 days of packaging, whereas darker, heavier beers, like stouts and porters, are good for up to 180 days. Styles such as barrel-aged beers, sour ales and imperial beers are much more robust and last longer on shelves.
Time helps mellow out big, boozy beers and can also help sour beers evolve, as the leftover souring elements can continue to evolve in a beer for years – creating fascinating new flavors. Blonde de l’Enfer, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale from Unibroue, has a printed “best before” date of 9-11-2022 on the side of the bottle. Belgian Golden Strong Ales are highly cellarable, hence the much longer lifespan of this brew. Barrel-aged beers are pulled from the barrels ready to drink, but one may age them for considerable periods of time for additional complexity.
Belgium’s Cantillon, one of the world’s most renowned breweries, and several other Lambic producers will put “best by” dates on beers many years into the future, as they have sugars and yeast that continue fermentation with a full maturity after three years. Still, these statements vary in size and placement on the bottle, and they aren’t overly apparent to everyday drinkers.
For sour and multiple French- and Belgian-style beers, a brewery is likely to put a statement of how long a beer might continue to evolve. Goose Island Beer Co. prints “develops in the bottle for over five years” on bottles of some of its beers, such as Matilda and Lolita.
- One way around this clustered world of various “best by” and “packaged on” dates in beer is to create a standardized method of beer dating.
- Perhaps craft beer’s governing body, the Brewers Association, could take on this important task, as making a consistent process for breweries to label their beer would benefit the breweries themselves, as well as consumers at large.
Beers also need to have a uniform place where “best by” dates can be found, so that befuddled consumers don’t have to inspect every inch of a can’s surface or squint at the fine print on a bottle’s label. Until some sort of reform takes place on how to easily tell when a beer is best consumed, follow this simple rule of thumb: After you purchase a beer, drink it relatively quickly in order to get the most enjoyment out of its freshness.
How can you tell if beer has gone bad?
4. It has a weird taste (like cabbage or sewage) – on unsplash Despite the fact that there are tons of weird beer flavors out there, it should be pretty clear if the flavor you’re tasting is not intentional. Some common flavors that can indicate a bad beer are cooked cabbage, sewage, sulphur, or just an abnormally sour taste.
Where is the expiration date on beer?
The primary packaging code is found on the bottle or can itself. Pull date locations for bottles vary by brand, and may be found on the neck label, shoulder of the bottle or back label. For cans, the pull date is located on the bottom of the can.