Does beer go bad?

Does beer go bad?

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0 thoughts on “Does beer go bad?”

  1. You have to be careful with beer that is in clear or green bottles. If you leave them in a tub of ice out in the sun, by the end of the day, they will taste skunky…really skunky. Sunlight will do that to beer and that is why most brewers use brown bottles and cans.

  2. 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.
    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!

  3. Yes, I would say. If you pour some out of its container and expose it to air and leave it out, it would go stale first and then eventually form a scum of mold on the top. Yuk!

  4. As others have said, yes it can. Ted Haigh noted the emergence of refrigeration in the brewing industry, which helped prevent spoilage through undesirable bacterial and yeast infections. In home-made beer, this is the most common cause of spoilage, but it’s extremely unusually in commercial beers these days.
    Today, refrigeration of hoppy beers is very important because the bitter, aromatic, and flavor characteristics derived from hops are the most volatile flavors in beer. Beer should be kept under 50 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal freshness, and a hoppy, flavorful IPA should stay fresh for 3 months under such conditions. However, for every 10 degrees above that, the hop flavors will decay at twice the rate (i.e., 1.5 months at 60 degrees, 0.75 months at 70 degrees, etc.). These temperatures will also amplify malt flavors (sweet, bready, biscuity, and caramel flavors). If you ever drink an IPA or hoppy pale ale that lacks the distinctive hop flavor and aroma and tastes like caramel syrup, chances are the beer was stored at higher temperatures for too long. Blame the distributor, not the brewer!
    John Heeg mentioned green bottles in the sun turning beer skunky, also true. This is a reaction of hop oils to ultraviolet light. Obviously brown bottles block most of the light, and cans will keep all of the light from tarnishing those precious hop oils.
    Some types of beers take years and years to spoil when handled properly. High alcohol, malt-forward beers in paricular are prized for how these characteristics develop over time. They should be treated much like wine (cellar temps, dark storage, etc.) but they are best stored upright unless sealed with a cork. These beers may develop flavors similar to brandy due to slight oxidation during packaging, often a desireae characteristic in a barleywine or Russian imperial stout. These same flavors are undesirable in most other beers.

  5. Not like it used to, but hell yes. Brewers were the first commercial entities to contract for refrigerating units because beer so enthusiastically went bad. With modern bottling and sanitary techniques and procedures we almost never hear of it anymore, but it can and will.

  6. Beer can go bad several ways – here are a bunch:
    If beer is dispensed with a hand pump, over the course of a few days it will oxidize. This is the same reason old ketchup turns brown in months, a cut avocado in a few hours, and a cut apple in minutes.
    Cleanliness is paramount in brewing. Although sterilization is not required, sanitation is paramount. The idea is to keep the nasties population down low, and allow the intentional inoculation of yeast to overwhelm and out-compete the other unintentional biological stuff going on. This generally works, but unless the beer is subsequently pasteurized, refrigerated, or very, very strong (ethanol) some infection will eventually take over the beer and change it a little or a lot. No known human pathogens can survive in beer. So although the beer is spoiled, it won’t kill you or make you sick.

    Diacetyl is a normal byproduct of yeast respiration/fermentation. Its hallmarks are a slimy mouthfeel and a butter popcorn aroma or taste. It is generally considered a brewing process defect (there are protocols to remove it), but because it tends to get worse, it can be a sign of “going bad”.

    Is generally associated with bottled beer. Especially beers in clear or green bottles. For years and years, I thought Heineken skunkiness was part of the breweries desired flavor profile. It was only when I had it on draft the first time, did I realize what it should taste like. I have ‘skunked’ a beer in as little as five minutes in direct sunlight. I remember vividly in 2006 drinking a local beer (at the time) Prima Pilsner, while I was outside cutting the grass. As a beer enthusiast, it wouldn’t do to swill it out of the brown bottle. Instead, I poured it into a pislner drinking glass.
    And well before I finished the glass, it turned from a wonderful Pilsner to a Heineken clone. In mere minutes, the sun had skunked my brew!
    Read more here:
    There are several other brewing defects that are a result of “improper something or other” in the brewing process – but these tend to start bad and stay bad – not just go bad- so I’ve left them out of the discussion.

  7. Despite blanket assertions to the contrary, beer definitely can “go bad”. Yes, some beers can — under careful conditions — remain very drinkable for a long time, but beer is a complex organic substance that is continually changing, and all beer will eventually become unpalatable and even undrinkable. All you can ever do is slow the process so that it takes a very long time.
    The first issue is just what you mean by “go bad”…do you mean that you wouldn’t want to drink it, or that you shouldn’t drink it? If you’re asking whether beer eventually becomes dangerous to drink, then the answer is “Not for a long time, as long as it was carefully bottled, you keep it well-sealed and it’s stored in a dark, cool location” . Modern beer is almost always bottled under very sanitary conditions, so the inside of the bottle is close to sterile, and the alcohol content of the beer itself helps to ensure that no harmful microorganisms can thrive. Beer that’s been carefully bottled and stored should be OK to drink for years, or even decades…it just may not necessarily taste very good after a while.
    If you’re asking how long beer still tastes good, then that’s a more complicated question. As others have noted there are a number of ways that the flavors of a beer can change for the worse once it’s in the bottle:

    Skunky / “Light-struck” beer: The most immediate thing that can go wrong is that the beer can be exposed to sunlight. Chemicals from the hops quickly break down into a sulfurous compound that’s actually very similar to what a skunk sprays. (Temperature doesn’t have anything to do with this process — you can’t skunk beer just by getting it warm.)
    Oxidation: The next most-likely cause of beer going bad would be exposure to oxygen during the brewing / bottling process. Even if the bottle is well-sealed, if the beer has too much oxygen in it, it will develop a stale flavor of paper or cardboard.
    Hop degradation: The hop characteristics of a beer start to slowly degrade almost immediately, starting with the aroma, then the flavor and eventually the bitterness. If you’ve ever tasted a dry-hopped beer that’s more than a few months old, you’ll know that much of the dry-hopped character is almost completely gone. Beer that’s been aged more than a year or two will be noticeably less bitter than when it was fresh.
    Infection: Finally, while it’s not very likely any more, it is still technically possible for a beer to get infected with harmful bacteria. To the degree that that happens at all, it’s much more likely to happen with home-brewed beer than it is commercial beer, but it’s still not common at all. (For the record, I’m an avid home-brewer.)

    All those things being said, many beers benefit greatly from being carefully stored for a long time. If you’ve got a bottle of beer you want to keep for a special occasion, just stick it in the back of the bottom shelf of your fridge, and it should be fine for at least a couple of years.

  8. Beer can not and will not go bad. You can drink a beer hundreds of years old. It will taste awful, will get you buzzed (increase your blood alcohol content) but it will not make you sick.
    Very few people have been lucky enough to drink beer that is 50+ years old, enjoy it and ask for another glass and I have and it’s really eye opening.
    The most common craft beer in the world is IPA with the majority of global sales. The most popular beers are lagers from the big global companies like Miller Coors, ABInbev. These beers taste awful with age (12+ weeks) but you can still drink them, get drunk and not get sick / ill.
    Higher degree beers like Barleywine, Imperial Stout, Old Ale, Scotch Ales. These hold up very well and even improve with age with the biggest detriment to them being oxidation, UV light and heat. Cold, dark places help them keep better, longer.
    Wild ales like Belgian Lambic, Oud B…

    Eight O’Clock

  9. Further to Michaels answer it also depends how well it was packaged at the brewery. Keg beer has a much shorter shelf life due to the way it is filtered, it will go through a filter powder which will take out most particles and bacteria, it is more of a course filtration. Can and bottle goes through a secondary filter (or polish) which removes smaller basteria that can taint beer over age.

    Alot more is due to the techniques and process.Beers biggest enenemy is oxygen. When packaging beer the aim is for zero TIPO and DO (total in pint oxygen and dissolved oxygen). This will give the eer a much longer shelf life with a good flavour. Oxygen in the beer will give it a stale cardboardy taste. The next point is to look at pastuerisation of the beer. It is done so that bacteria is killed off. Much like milk. Depending on the production depends how many pasteurisation units the beer will be subjected too. Under pasteuisation will allow bacteria to grow at some point in its shelf life, Over pasteurisation will give off flavours from the start.

    As to the refrigerated and unrefrigerated this is a minor point. beer is obviously kept at low temperature at all times but in warehouses and on lorries the beer can be heated up de to sun light and surroundings. The only watch out is when beer is heated and cooled repeatedly the tannins in the beer are released and a haze can form which will become pernament.

    Hope this helps

  10. I bought a bottle that blew up when I opened it. Turns out that bottle had been on the shelf for a while, it was also the last run of that beer, having been discontinued by the brewery. And I later found out from the brewery that whole run had a Brett contamination.

    Victor Allen’s

  11. So last night I drank a Coors Light (Not my first pick by far but my roommate had them in the fridge) after I drank it my stomach did not feel very good. Then noticed the expiration on the bottle was October 2016… I then proceeded to throw up… So, I am wondering if it was the beer? Could it have been because the beer was expired?

  12. When i was a little kid in the 60s American beer was all crap, but quality imports were available. My day my dad came home with a treat for himself: a 6-pack of Beck’s. He opened one and poured it out. This was at least 50 years ago, but I still remember the stench.
    So yes, beer can go bad.

  13. Beer is a popular alcoholic beverage, but not everyone knows whether it does expire or how long does beer last. Those are pretty important facts about beer and if you sometimes store beer for an extended period of time, it’s good to know whether drinking it is safe. Once the beer is opened, it should be drinked within a day or two. After that time, in most cases it’ll be fine, but its taste will be far from what you’ve expected (it’ll be flat). That means that there’s no sense in storing beer after opening – after two days it’ll taste stale and you’ll probably discard it either way. Of course if you want to keep it in the fridge for an hour or two, that’s fine.

  14. From what we know about liquor, they
    generally get better with time, and the taste and quality enhance the longer they are kept. This truth holds for many of our favorite scotch and wine but sadly not all drinks survive the test of time and one such creamy liqueur is Baileys.
    Unlike other liquors that can be left to brew, Baileys come with an expiration date, and if not consumed in time, it certainly will go bad.
    Can Baileys Go Bad In The Fridge
    The Irish cream can be seen more like a dessert rather than liquor. It is creamy and contains a good amount of liquor which is why people use it as a sauce or to enhance the taste of their coffee. Probably that’s why not many prefer to consume it directly, and even if they do, it is in small amounts. This drink does not have a long shelf life and should be viewed more like a dairy with heavy cream rather than an alcoholic beverage. The drink can go bad if it crosses its expiration date irrespective of being kept in a fridge or not. Moreover, one should abstain from freezing Baileys as even though the alcohol will not freeze, the cream certainly will.
    This will only make pouring the drink all the more difficult. Also, the freezing process will cause crystals to form in the drink which will completely ruin the texture of the drink. As long as the bottle remains tightly sealed, keeping it in a refrigerator will help to retain the quality of the drink though in no way should one freeze it.

    Does beer go bad?

  15. My guess would be yes and this article supports it: FoodWiki .
    Try to keep your beer out of the sun and don’t let it sit around forever and you should be fine!

  16. Yes and you can prove it to yourself easily.
    Go buy a six pack of Corona beer – the kind that comes in the clear bottles.
    Put three bottles in your fridge. One will be the “control” sample. The other 2 will be the “what the heck, I need a beer” samples.
    Place three bottles on a windowsill where they will be exposed to direct sunlight.
    After 2 days of sunlight exposure, take one of the three bottles, mark it with a 2 and place it in the fridge with the other.
    After four days of sunlight exposure, do the same thing with a second bottle but mark it with a “4”.
    After six days of sunlight exposure, take the 3rd bottle and mark it with a “6”
    Test the results by opening the sample bottle and smell it and taste it. Now open each of the bottles that you exposed to sunlight one at a time and smell and taste them. Compare them to the control sample. You should taste and smell just how bad beer can get when exposed to sunlight. What you’re smelling and tasting is the result of a chemical change caused by UV radiation on certain compounds from the hops in the beer.
    Don’t worry, the beer won’t make you sick. It is still perfectly drinkable if you can get past the smell and taste.


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