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How Long Does Craft Beer Last?

Craft beer is an ever-evolving landscape of fascinating flavors and aromas.

In recent years, craft beers have attracted more and more attention from consumers, who are drawn to the unique and often complex flavors they offer.

However, one common question among beer lovers is how long does craft beer last?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the factors that affect the shelf life of craft beer, how to store it properly, how to check for freshness, and what the recommended shelf life of different styles of beer is.

Factors Affecting The Shelf Life of Craft Beer

When it comes to craft beer longevity, there are many factors that contribute to how long a given beer can last. Some of these include:

  • The ABV (alcohol by volume): higher alcohol content makes for a longer shelf life;
  • The type of hops used in brewing: some hops have longer-lasting characteristics than others;
  • The kind of yeast used in brewing: specific yeasts have different storage possibilities;
  • Storage method and temperature: where and how the craft beer is stored will significantly impact its expiration date;
  • Bottling or canning method: some containers protect beers better than others;
  • Other ingredients added during production (fruits/spices).

How to Store Craft Beer

To ensure that your craft beers stay fresh for as long as possible, proper storage should be taken into consideration. Craft beers should be stored at temperatures below 55°F (13°C) in a dark location – away from light, which can damage its flavor over time.

If you must use a refrigerator or freezer for storage purposes, make sure you don’t keep them in there too long – cold temperatures can ruin certain styles of beer! Some brewers also recommend keeping cans or bottles upside down as well; this helps keep all the carbonation inside so that your brew stays bubbly for longer.

How To Check The Freshness Of Craft Beer

To check if your craft beer is still good for consumption, you should pay attention to the “best before” date printed on the label. This data helps provide an indication as to when your brew will start losing its flavor and start tasting “off”.

It is important to note that not all craft beers come with a “best before” stamp – so if there isn’t one present on your bottle or tin, you should look out for other signs.

If you notice any discoloration on the label or see any sediment floating around in the liquid then it may be an indication that it is past its prime!

Recommended Shelf Life Of Different Beer Styles

The shelf life of different types of craft beers varies greatly depending on factors such as the brewing process, ingredients used, ABV%, etc.

Here are some rough guidelines as to how long each type of beer will remain drinkable after being packaged:

  • Lagers/Pilsners – 3-6 months;
  • IPAs – 8-12 months;
  • Ales – up to 12 months;
  • Stouts & Porters – up to 18 months; * Sour Ales & Wild Ales – up to 24 months.

How To Properly Dispose Of Old Or Spoiled Beer

If you’ve had a bottle or tin around for longer than recommended above or notice any signs such as discoloration or off flavors then it’s best practice to get rid of it responsibly! Here are some simple tips on disposing of old/spoiled beers:

  • Pour out any remaining liquid into a sink with plenty of water added – this will reduce its alcohol content so there won’t be any danger from people consuming too much alcohol unintentionally
  • Place empty cans & bottles into recycling bins
  • Pipe any remaining foam down the drain using plenty of cold water


Craft beers can last quite a while if they’re stored correctly however it’s important not to forget about them! Being aware of things like ABV%, hop varieties and storage methods can help ensure that your favorite pint stays fresh & delicious every time!

So next time you’re picking up some new brews don’t forget these helpful tips when deciding which ones need drinking first!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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