How Long Does Beer Last?

How long does beer last? Does beer go bad?

Since beer is a type of alcohol, many people ask, "does beer go bad?" and "does beer expire?" Well, yes, beer does go bad, but exactly when depends on your definition of "bad" (and possibly how many you've already had!).

So, does beer expire... when properly stored, the shelf life of beer past its best before date is approximately:

How Long Does Beer Last?

Beer Expiration Date

(Unopened) Pantry Fridge
Past Date Past Date
Canned Beer lasts for 6-9 Months 6 months-2 Years
Bottled Beer lasts for 6-9 Months 6 months-2 Years
Homemade Beer lasts for 6-9 Months 6 months-2 Years

Although all food and drink lasts for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly, proper storage extends the shelf life of beer beyond its best by date. Cans and bottles are usually stamped with a best before date and not an expiration date, which means it can be consumed after the printed date for the time periods stated above.

How to tell if Beer is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

You can usually tell when you open the bottle if your beer has gone bad. When you open the bottle you should hear the normal "psssst" sound indicating that your beer is fresh and ready to drink. You should also see some white foam rising from the liquid after opening, lack of foam is another indication that most likely your beer has gone bad.

If you have bottles, even before opening you can check the bottle for clues like a dusty bottle, a discolored label and especially any seepage around the cap which indicates prior heat abuse. Some other possible traits of expired beer product are a change in the color of the beer or a "dusty" settlement visible in the bottom of the bottle. If these things are going on in the bottle, the beer has most likely gone bad and the taste will be "flat" and possibly spoiled tasting.

If your beer has gone bad and you need to find a substitute when your recipe needs it, check our page on alcohol substitutes.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled drinks so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your drinks before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Beer to extend its shelf life?

Beer is best kept in the refrigerator, especially important if it was purchased refrigerated. A change in temperatures (hot to cold or cold to hot) is not good for this product. Constant temperature is essential to the shelf life of beers like Coors that are meant to be constantly chilled. Coors uses a best before date (in the form of JUL2611 where XXX=the month, 26=the day and 11=the year or 2011) that is 17-26 weeks after it was bottled [1].

Beer should always be stored upright to decrease the oxidation process and prevent contamination from the cap. If you choose not to refrigerate your beer, be sure it is kept in a cool dark place that is at a constant temperature. Product bottled in darker bottles are a better choice if you are looking to increase the shelf life of beer because they block ultraviolet lights that can degrade and break down the quality of the beer. Direct sunlight is the worst place for storage, as it causes a chemical reaction in the liquids which begins within an hour, especially if the bottle is clear.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Beer:

  • Have fresh ones sent including Free Shipping and Free Gifts with any membership purchase at and your recipient will have no shelf life worries!
  • How long is Beer good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does beer last? That depends. How long does pasta last? In general, it lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Beer lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Beer.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Beer shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please drink responsibly!