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Home » Blog » How Long Can You Expect Canned Beer to Stay Fresh?

How Long Can You Expect Canned Beer to Stay Fresh?

Whether you’re hanging out with pals or unwinding after a tough week, cracking open a cold brew is a simple pleasure. Beer tends to be the go-to choice for social occasions, so if you’re playing host, you might end up with more cans than you bargained for. But how long can you really count on that canned beer lasting?

Well, technically, beer doesn’t exactly expire in a dangerous way, but its freshness and taste do change over time. If you keep it sealed and chilled in the fridge, it can maintain its quality for about three years. Once opened, though, it starts losing its charm pretty quickly. Even if you stash it in the pantry away from light, it’s good for around nine months past its “best by” date.

Once you pop that can, the clock starts ticking. You’ve probably noticed how it goes flat and bland if left sitting in the fridge. That’s because when you crack it open, the carbon dioxide escapes, taking some of the flavor and fizz with it. For the best taste, you should finish an opened can within a day, whether it’s chilling in the fridge or hanging out on the counter.

Storing your beer in the fridge helps it keep its quality and taste longer than leaving it in the pantry. But even if your beer starts to taste a bit off, it’s unlikely to make you sick. Thanks to the alcohol and hops, which have some germ-fighting properties, your biggest worry is a bad taste.

Different beers have different lifespans in terms of quality. Dark, hoppy beers tend to last longer than lighter ones. Stouts might hold up for nine months past their expiration, while pale ales might start losing their edge after half that time. It’s tricky to pin down an exact expiration date because every brew is unique.

Now, if you’re into non-alcoholic brews, they won’t last as long. Without the alcohol to help preserve it, non-alcoholic beer usually peaks within three months, depending on the brand and type. But don’t worry, it won’t make you sick, just might not taste as good over time.

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Oliver Sterling
Oliver Sterling