Is It OK to Drink Expired Beer? (Read This First!)

Assorted beer bottles on a bar

Whether you’re watching football on the big screen or having friends over for a weekend barbecue, your food needs to be amazing, and your beer should be fresh.

Did you catch that? Your beer needs to be fresh. Beer has an expiry date.

Most beer will have a date printed on it. It will either tell you when it was packaged, or it will have a best before date. Breweries recommend drinking beer within 4 – 6 months.

Is it OK to drink expired beer?

Is It Safe to Drink Beer After the Expiration Date?

It wouldn’t happen in my house but what if you discover that your beer is more than 4 – 6 months old? Is it safe to drink?

It’s OK to drink beer that’s past its expiration date. Most beer is pasteurized or filtered to eliminate bacteria, so it rarely goes bad – but it might not taste as good as fresh beer that has been stored properly.

While it’s perfectly safe to drink beer that has been stored properly, even past its expiration date, you should never drink a “skunky” beer. Beer that has been exposed to light for a prolonged period of time can develop a disgusting taste and smell and you won’t want to drink it!

The Best Way to Store Beer

When it comes to storing beer, you should keep the 3-30-300 rule in mind. We talked to Tom Geordt, Technical Director at Micro Matic, and this is what he had to say:

The same flavor loss results from beer being stored in your car’s trunk for three days at 90°F as beer being stored at room temp (72°F) for 30 days and beer being stored at 38°F for 300 days.

Beer should be stored upright in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. If you have room in your fridge, that is the best spot. Otherwise, your basement or cold-room will work nicely.

If possible, opt for cans over bottles. Cans are airtight and block out all light.

By Michael

Chief mixologist and cocktail enthusiast at Swizzle Club.